As shocking as the Derby result was, as DiscreetPicks points out: the horse ran great, and he's getting ZERO credit for it. Mine That Bird's winning time of 2:02.66 is a middle of the pack kind of time historically. His Beyer of 105, though, according to Crist, tied with Sea Hero's as the second lowest (to Giacomo's 100 in 2005) during the last decade (and three points slower than Rachel Alexandra), certainly seems respectable if not spectacular. Whereas Giacomo's rally took place into a final quarter of nearly 27 seconds, the final quarter here was 25.17. And, according to Formulator, Mine That Bird zipped home in final fractions of 24.11 and 24 seconds flat. Big Brown came home last year in 25.26. One can certainly explain the difference away given Big Brown's wide trip from the 20 post and Mine That Bird's dream journey on the best part of the track over a surface he obviously relished. But the point is that, as inexplicable as it may have been, this gelding's win certainly seems a legitimate one, at least in terms of time.
Of course, it also helped that the horses he inhaled late had had enough at that point. Pioneerof the Nile showed the determination he did in the Cash Call Futurity and the Lewis in fighting off Musket Man and Papa Clem (said to be going on to the Preakness) for the place. But he struggled home in 26.23 and earned a Beyer of only 95, as did the other two.
Todd Pletcher, winless now with 24 Derby starters, said that Dunkirk (11th) grabbed a quarter and suffered some nicks and cuts. Friesan Fire (18th) had an eventful trip.
He grabbed a quarter in the left front, had a cut on the tendon in the right front, and a cut on his right rear back foot. He also had some leg webbing, apparently from another horse, embedded in one of his hooves.- David Cotey, Mine That Bird's original trainer who sold him for $400,000, seemed to have no regrets as he and his partners were able to purchase 37 other horses as a result of the transaction.
While she did not know what Jones or the owners would decide about the Preakness, Cindy Jones said all of the cuts were superficial and would heal quickly. [Bloodhorse]
"I never ever sold a horse and wished someone would do terrible with them," Cotey said. "Now people will buy a horse out of here for good money and not be afraid to go to the Breeders' Cup or the Derby or wherever. [Canadian Press]- I don't usually go for that schmalzy sentimental stuff, but I thought the highlight of NBC's coverage (other than the fabulous blimp shot of the stretch run] was the interview during the walkover with Tom McCarthy. General Quarter's owner/trainer was obviously overwhelmed by the moment, not only proceeding to the paddock to saddle his horse for the Kentucky Derby, but being cheered on by railbirds along the way. It (almost) made me want to bet on the horse. And I bet he wouldn't have snapped at Kenny Rice no matter how many times he asked him the same questions he'd been asked all week. (If one can't be gracious when he wins, what do you expect he'll be like when he loses?)