The 136th Kentucky Derby is this Saturday with a post time of 6:24pm. A lot of the discussions this week are around whether or not this is the last time the race will be run during the day. Churchill Downs now has permanent lights installed at the track so the move to primetime seems almost inevitable. The Derby is one of the bigger sporting events of the year and if you can position the event to a larger television audience then why wouldn’t they make the plunge? The move would even make the event better for the actual spectators at the Derby because they could have a 20-race card and a few more mint juleps while waiting in anticipation for ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports.’
After spending the better part of the day chasing that little white ball around the woods, I found myself sitting in a local drinking establishment contemplating my choices of beer and eagerly awaiting the 135th running of the grandest of sporting events, the Kentucky Derby.
If you thought that the most outlandish and absurd storyline that would come out of Saturdays race was who had the most hideous hat, you obviously didn’t wait for the final two minutes of on your feet excitement that begins with the starters bell.
As the bell rang, the gates flew open releasing 19 of the most graceful beasts you will ever see compete, bumping and jarring their way into position. One horse was sandwiched between two others right out of the gate, nearly tripping and he eased off falling several lengths behind.
As the rest of the field took off down the front stretch, this 50-1 odds favorite took pursuit. I’m sure his jockey urged his ride on, hoping for a miracle, but knowing that now the odds were really against them.
All eyes were focused on the top of the field and on their favorites whose numbers were listed on their betting slips. No one was noticing that the horse who was way in the back was closing a seemingly insurmountable distance with every stretch of his legs.
Then the horses reached the fourth turn and it seemed that the race would be decided between the top 5 horses.
And then that miracle happened.
Some how this horse that was in absolute dead last made a charge to the front. From at least 17 lengths down comes the most unlikely of superstars…Mine That Bird. This 50-1 long shot had somehow made up an unheard of distance and then weaved his way through traffic to not only win the Kentucky Derby, but he won it going away, by an impressive 6 3/4 lengths.
Not bad for a horse that was originally purchased for only $9,500. A horse that everyone else said should never have even been entered. Just to give you an idea of what a steal this was…Dunkirk who finished 19 lengths behind Mine That Bird was purchased for $3.7 million.
I think I’d ask for my money back.
Hooters restaurant will be making a big statement this Saturday at the Belmont Stakes. The owners of Big Brown have sold sponsorship to Hooters on the jockey’s leg for the higly anticipated race. Big Brown and jockey Kent Desormeaux are trying to become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years. Also, if Big Brown makes it to the winner’s circle, he will be greeted by Hooters girls in T-shirts with big smiles. Corporate advertising is everywhere these days in sports so why wouldn’t Hooters bust their way into horse racing.
Street Sense wins by a nose today in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Kentucky Derby winner has roughly 9-5 odds coming into the race today and is ready to conquer 1 3/16 mile track.
Hardspun has a great chance too if you don’t like Street Sense.
I know it sounds odd, but this passing away struck me just as hard as a human being.Â Feel free to call me cooky, but I had strong admiration for this incredible animal.Â Godspeed Barbaro!
The ’06 Kentucky Derby winner remains in our thoughts as the horse tries to win another significant setback in his recovery. Barbaro is no longer placing weight on the right leg he shattered eight months ago and this is a huge concern. There was a surgery yesterday to try and correct the complications, but only time will tell if the risky surgery will work. In recent months the major issue was in respect to the left foot and the often fatal hoof disease. For the first time lead Dr. Dean Richardson stated if the same leg was to break again due to this risky procedure, “I think we’ll quit.”Â
It’s been roughly seven weeks now since Barbaro severely broke his leg racing at the Preakness.Â In that time the horse has gone through 4 operations and the last three have occurred pretty much back to back. Barbaro now has a severe case of laminitis which is a potentially fatal disease caused by uneven weight distribution in the limbs. The vetenarian has stated that Barbaro’s chances of survial are a “long shot” and the situation will be closely monitored. Barbaro is certainly a fighter and I definitely hope this magnificent horse lives, but I definitely don’t want to see the horse in pain either.
For those that are interested, Barbaro went into surgery this afternoon, and 7 hours later, he is said to be “extremely comfortable in the leg.” The biggest hurdle now is avoiding an infection in the leg. It does say something that almost all cases of injuries this bad never make it to the surgery table, but rather euthanized right there at the track. Doctors give Barbaro a 50/50 shot at recovery currently.Â We will keep you updated on his condition, and hopefully, his recovery.
As an animal lover, it breaks my heart every time I see the video of Barbaro breaking his leg on Sat. during his attempt to win the second leg of the Triple Crown. The leg was broken in two places, both above and below the ankle on the right rear leg. As it looks now, the injury may be severe enough that it could be life threatening, depending on whether or not the blood flow to that leg has been permanently damaged. I certainly hope that’s not the case. What is certain is that Barbaro has run his last race. Previously undefeated, he will no longer be able to race and the trainers and vets are saying that a best case scenario is to use him to breed other horses. The injury cast a long shadow over the winner of the Preakness, Bernardini. We will keep you updated on Barbaro’s status.