I was working all day Saturday and didn’t get to see the Kentucky Derby; my wife replayed it for me this morning on DVR. For those of you who ran track or perhaps participated in rowing in college as I did, you’ll know that races involve more than speed; they require strategy. The basic underpinning of any strategy is belief. The horse could not have won without jockey Calvin Borel, who absolutely believed in him.
A few observations on the race:
- In a 2:02 race, the announcer didn’t speak the name of the winner until about 1:55.
- Mine That Bird, the 2009 Derby Champion, came back from about 8th place from my observation in the final quarter of the race. The final quarter. And he won in a blowout.
- The horse was either too stupid or too fast (or maybe just too BUSY) to realize it was customary to bail out with a deficit that large. My vote is busy.
- The jockey absolutely believed the horse was capable of winning or he wouldn’t have dangerously pushed it through a crowded field on the inside rail.
- There was a small opening that was exploited.
- Once that horse got the lead, it’s energy was limitless.
- The horse’s entry in the race was a 50-1 afterthought.