Sunday, May 3, 2009

Derby Hangover

The intoxicating build up is months in the making, then it's over in two minutes. Following the buzz, I'm left wondering why should I even bother.

This year most were beaten by a horse almost no one figured would win. But that's the beauty of the Derby, horses that should be 150-1 are underlays at 50-1 because Aunt Betty has a parrot that says, "Mine that bird," or your daughter was born on the 8th, so his odds creep downward to 50-1!

Here's what Mine That Bird had going against him:
  • A highest Beyer speed figure of 80
  • No graded stakes earnings this year
  • No winning racing this year!
  • A late foaling date in May
  • A low purchase price of $9,500
What he did have was owners, trainer and jockey who believed in him despite the long odds.

Here's what I learned about my Derby handicapping:
  • I was wrong about Pioneerof the Nile, Regal Ransom and Friesan Fire
  • At least I had Papa Clem and Musket Man underneath in trifectas and was alive with a Pick 3 and Pick 4 going into the Derby
As Steve Crist wrote right after the race, "This game will sure keep you humble."

Thankfully, jockey Calvin Borel's excitment was truly geniune and infectious. We all should be so lucky! Maybe later today at Belmont. But man does my head hurt.

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