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Monday, May 04, 2009

The Incredible Invisible Horse?

This British art student made this car disappear; pretty cool, eh? However, there's nothing in the article about her using her magic on Mine That Bird; so Tom Durkin can't use that as an excuse for missing his move until the last second!

But I'm not going to be too hard on Durkin, who has nailed far far more than he's missed. And, as a poster in a Yahoo group that I'm in pointed out, it's the same track and the same move that Trevor Denman, the best I know of in picking up those moves early on, missed on Street Sense in the BC Juvenile in 2006. So maybe there's something about the visitor's announcer booth that helps to obliterate the view. Or maybe the in-house announcers, shunned for the national TV spotlight, put something in the bourbon.

Mark Johnson, the new regular Churchill announcer, did a bit better, but he too did not call the horse until he was already in front. I was going to link to the video with Johnson's call on You Tube, but it is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Churchill Downs. And you wonder why nobody cares about this sport anymore?


Anonymous said...

Why not just link YouTube user cdi's copy then?

Mark Johnson's Derby callOr, didn't you know that CDI posts all the races at its tracks on YouTube?

Anonymous said...

It's still up at's "Weekend Warrior" section, and I would agree that Mr. Johnson did a pretty good job on his first Derby.

If Durkin has a fault (and I generally like his work), it's that he tries too hard in the big races to come up with a memorable call for posterity.

But face it, no one was looking for Mine That Bird until Calvin had him flying up the rail in the stretch.

Borel's ride still is an amazing performance by any measure -- a perfect confluence of right track, right rider, right conditions and a game horse.