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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Morning After - Part 2

- There’s obviously an overwhelming amount of press stories, and if you read one you’ve really read them all. Similar quotes from Zito, Mike Smith, and John Sheriffs, and the same storylines - Zito 0-5, Boss shut out, redemption for Smith, slow and steady progress for the winner. Here’s some of it:

- Paul Moran of Newsday:

Fickle creatures, these racehorses. They inspire sweet dreams in the humans they confound and dumbfound, as if a sport that began before the recording of history had just been invented and no one knows a thing....Left in ruins were the winners of every important race leading up to the Derby..

- Joe Drape of the NY Times:
When the 131st running of America's most famous race was over, no one could blame Steinbrenner, the Yankees' principal owner, or Zito, the loquacious New York trainer, if they uttered a question on the minds of the vast majority of the nation: "Who is Giacomo?"

From here to eternity, the son of the great Holy Bull will forever be known as the 2005 Derby winner, a colt who streaked from the back of the pack to deliver a seemingly impossible upset.

Bill Christine of the LA Times:
In a Kentucky Derby that was virtually ordained to be trainer Nick Zito's, and was supposed to be off-limits for any horse from California, the improbable Giacomo brought more insanity to Churchill Downs with the second-biggest upset in race history.

Gary West of the Dalls-Ft. Worth Star Telegram:
The horses spread out across the track for the run down the stretch, the final quarter-mile of Saturday's 131st Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. This was where the next superhorse would emerge, where America's horse would reveal himself, or at least such were the expectations. But, as it turned out, this was where a determined 50-1 long shot reminded everyone that tenacity can trump speed.

And Bill Handleman of the Asbury Park Press added:
Almost makes you want to burn all those musty old race charts you've got stacked up in the basement. All those years of work, for what?

- How great was that overhead view on NBC? You really got a sense of what kind of trip the horses had, and I think you also get a better sense of just how much ground Giacomo had to make up, and how quickly he did it (or maybe we should say, less slowly he did it) then you do from the standard angle. I hope we see more of that (the camera shot; not the 27 second last quarters).

- Kevin Modesti of the LA Daily News says: Thanks for coming, George.
George Steinbrenner, who didn't get to town until Friday and barely uttered a public word about the Kentucky Derby in the week before the race, left Churchill Downs silently Saturday after watching his much-hyped colt Bellamy Road finish seventh.

Reporters who followed Steinbrenner to the parking lot were kept away from the New York Yankees owner.
I’ve read that the Boss did appear on ESPN around 90 minutes before the race. Richard Sandomir in the Times has this LOL account of the Boss’ total NBC face time:
Steinbrenner's longest face time came as he walked slowly, in profile, Hitchcock-like, for eight seconds. He was also seen eating for five seconds, then spotted for four seconds standing in a crowd right before the race. [NY Times]
I added the emphasis; I remember that shot, and that's a perfect description!

- Lukas on the improbable result: "Let me put it to you this way. I train in California where that horse trained and I used eight horses in my Derby superfecta. I never thought about Giacomo." [Albany Times-Union]

- For me, one of the worst results of Giacomo’s victory would be having to read, and possibly hear a lot of stuff like this:
Maybe Sting knew something a few years ago when he wrote his song, "Desert Rose," that includes the lyrics, "I dream of fire/Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire." [NY Daily News]
Of course, Giacomo was named after Sting’s son, and while Sting is politically correct, musically, he's long defunct, at least to me. Whatsmore, the Police, with the possible exception of their first album, have aged about as well as a glass of milk left behind in the Derby infield.

- I’ve already read that Afleet Alex will run in the Preakness, and I’ve already thrown him out.

- Well, while I hate to quote the NY Post’s ultra conservative columnist Ray Kerrison, I can’t disagree with a thing he says here:
My conclusion: This Derby was not a true bill. Far from being a genuine test of the three-year-old crop, it degenerated into the equine equivalent of a barroom brawl, specifically designed that way by the connections of Spanish Chestnut, so that the last horse standing would be crowned and blanketed with roses.

That's exactly what happened, except the plans misfired. The last one standing was not Bandini — hell, he was the first horse beaten — but a Californian slowpoke who has never run a fast race in his life. What he did have, however, was some stamina and staying power and that was enough to waltz off with the biggest horse race in America.

To the winner goes the spoils and no one would deny Giacomo his day in the sun. But one thing is for sure: there will be no Triple Crown winner this year. [NY Post]


Anonymous said...

Shock GIAC!

I knew the pace would be the downfall of Bellamy...but I didn't think they would have rockets tied onto their saddle blankets.

Now for the sad "what could have been" figures..

WIN — (Giacomo) $102.60, second highest. Record: $184.90 by Donerail, 1913.
• PLACE — (Closing Argument) $70.00. Old record: $53.00 by Royal Mustang, 1951.
• EXACTA — (first two finishers in exact order; Giacomo-Closing Argument) $9,814.80. Old record: $1,300.80, 2002.
• TRIFECTA — (first three finishers in exact order; Giacomo-Closing Argument-Afleet Alex) $133,134.80. Old record: $18,373.20, 2002.
• SUPERFECTA — (first four finishers in exact order; Giacomo-Closing Arguement-Afleet Alex-Don't Get Mad) $864,253.50. Old record: $91,764.50, 2002.

Alan Mann said...

The exotic payoffs were many times the old records. You gotta love those 20 horse fields!