Monday, May 9, 2011

Kentucky Derby

This is my Kentucky Derby post, very much belated. (What can I say? It is that time of year. When everyone with any sense wants to ride, so the lessons pile on.)

I have no idea how most people pick their favorites for the race. (Or for any race for that matter.) I know there are different variables and calculations and odds that can be factored in, but my methods are not nearly so scientific. In fact, my methods (if you can call them that) are as whimsical as any derby hat.
This hat and many others located at Dee's
I pick the pretty horses, the elegant names, and occasionally I pick by jockey. So this year I had 4 horses I was rooting for.  Midnight Interlude is just a lovely name. I always wonder why some people can think of wonderful elegant names for their horses, and others pick "Mucho Macho Man"? Seriously? Then during the post parade I decided that I really liked Decisive Moment (I've always been a sucker for a black horse.)
Decisive Moment
And then there is Calvin Borel. It isn't often that a jockey captures my attention. I'm not a sucker for a sob story, someone doing it for their mom in Mexico who has some dread disease or whatever. But I do enjoy people with an affinity for horses. And when Calvin Borel won the Derby with Mine that Bird (another astonishingly silly name) and switched onto a filly, Rachel Alexandra, for the Preakness and then won, well that cemented him in my mind as one of my favorite jockeys ever.
Calvin Borel on Rachel Alexandra
And of course lastly, had to give a nod to Pants on Fire (possibly the worst name in the field) because of Rosie Napravnik. Hard to be female and not give a girl credit (same as a filly) for competing with the boys. 
Now of course, I will be rooting for Animal Kingdom in the Preakness, because I would love to have a Triple Crown winner. No horse has won the Triple Crown in 33 years. The last horse to do it, Affirmed, was in 1978.  2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Affirmed's death (at age 26 from Laminitis.) So it seems an auspicious year for another winner. 
As a side note, 6 of the 11 Triple Crown winners were chestnut. Including Affirmed. Man o' War was also a chestnut, so perhaps a fiery coat is a good sign for Animal Kingdom. I do wonder however, which jockey will get to ride him in the remaining races. His regular rider, who did not ride him in the derby, due to an injury, or the rider who rode him to a win in the derby. It is sure to be a tough call for his owners and trainers. (He is owned by a conglomerate of some sorts known as Team Valor.)

Animal Kingdom


No comments:

Post a Comment