- Larry Jones said something that I've certainly been wondering about:
"He's great, I'm not taking anything away from Calvin, but you would think some of these guys would think, 'Calvin might be riding the rail back there.' That's the first thing we learned when I was race-riding myself as a kid on the bull rings - you guard the rail. No one comes through the rail. [Palm Beach Post]Remember, Jerry Bailey said on ESPN that the riders would be conscious of him, but if they were, they sure didn't show it. The fact is that they probably couldn't have done anything even if they wanted to, because most of them were on horses that were already tiring, as Borel himself noted.
- Here's a stat I've never seen before:
From 1989 to 2006, horses who won the Derby after running in the front eight early in the race have gone on to win the Preakness seven times in 11 tries (including Barbaro, who broke down in the Preakness). Horses who won the Derby from farther back in the pack have a Preakness record of 0 for 7. [LA Daily News]I really can't say if that means a damn thing other than to confirm the fact that speed generally rules in American racing, but there you go.
- Steve Crist had the winner and writes that it was an extremely satisfying one, and not just for those of us who managed to pick their first Derby winner since Strike the Gold in 1991. I certainly did not have Strike the Gold. His dosage index was like 9, and I was a leader of the Dosage Brigade; I had 4.0 tattooed on my butt. So to speak. Crist was always outspoken in his ridicule of dosage, and there was virtually no discussion of it in the Racing Times; I think they may have published the number without explanation in the Derby issue. So I'm sure that must have been one of his more satisfying winners. My world was shaken a bit, but I still did not bet a non-dosage horse until Real Quiet in 1998 (and yeah, I've told you how Victory Gallop blew all my exotics in that race).
Crist also commends Tom Hammond for blasting Yum! over their silly bonus, and I mentioned that during my spontaneous live blogging during the Derby...and that's certainly worth a second mention. Not often you hear a sports commentator, or any TV talking head rip one of the sponsors, and it was certainly well-deserved in this case.
I've actually had two Derby winners in this century - Smarty Jones and Monarchos...but my record in the three Derbies I've picked on this blog is just horrendous. I suppose deep, deep down, I knew Street Sense was the best horse. But there were enough reasons to oppose him, and besides, I kinda like to be contrarian. (As if picking three Pletcher horses was contrarian.) I suppose my reasoning in opposing him was wishful thinking, and the 9-2 price was fair I'd have to say. But if someone with Larry Jones' attitude was riding in the race, maybe we'd be having a different discussion here. Like, why I decided to go off Hard Spun.