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The W - Sports that aren't Baseball, Football, Basketball, or Hockey - 135th Kentucky Derby
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LinearRO
Bauerwurst








Since: 5.1.02
From: West Los Angeles, California

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.93
For anyone who witnessed the outcome of this year's Kentucky Derby and attempts to handicap races with logic and past performance data, I have but one question - have you figured it out yet? Because the Good Lord knows I have not been able to.

As far as the visuals on-track, the obvious standout has to be Calvin Borel bafflingly coming close to defying that tested physics concept that two things cannot occupy the exact same space at the exact same time. I saw that gap (if you could call it that) at the rail from the pan shot, the overhead, and the head-on, and each subsequent time, I somehow expect the result to be different. So maybe that stretch move aboard Mine That Bird (50/1) was, in fact, insane.

As far as form handicapping goes, I have to believe that if you run this race one thousand times with these nineteen horses and the same track condition (sloppy), Mine That Bird wins only once, and somehow we witnessed the once this day. For those who review speed figures, Beyers in this case, the average winning figure for all runnings since 1992 was 109. Mine That Bird's best prior to today was 81 (about fifteen lengths slower than a 109 at 1-1/4 Miles, I believe) . . . at a minor-league (relatively speaking anyway) New Mexico track called Sunland Park. I am not sure how big this year's winning speed figure will come back. If it comes back big, then this will have been some of the most improbable improvement I have ever seen a three-year-old make. If it comes back too low, it would require me to believe that too many horses decided to throw in clunker races today, and sloppy track or not, that just does not happen much, if ever.

So, onto the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in two weeks, and as any number of brain-blitzed handicappers have professed, Mine That Bird is not likely to scare off many would-be challengers. As someone who has not been alive for a Triple Crown achievement, I would like this to be the year, but ever since the morning's scratch of I Want Revenge (ankle), I suspected it simply was not coming in 2009.



Oooooooh, Ahhhhhh, Eeeeeee, Yaaaaaaaaa, Grrrrrrrrr, you son of a oh, eeeeeeee, and that's how we shave. -Homer Simpson
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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.23
    Originally posted by LinearRO
    As someone who has not been alive for a Triple Crown achievement, I would like this to be the year, but ever since the morning's scratch of I Want Revenge (ankle), I suspected it simply was not coming in 2009.


I really want to see a Triple Crown winner, too. I hate how we get teased every few years when a horse wins the first two legs, or really dominates the Derby. But when another horse wins it, I hope it's a dominant, memorable horse like Secretariat or others from a few decades ago.
DrewDewce
Bratwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Derby City

Since last post: 14 days
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Y!:
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.67
The sad part is that I was talking up Mine That Bird a few days ago solely on the trainer's story of coming to Kentucky the same way Baffert did thru New Mexico, but then I talked myself out of it and went with a boxed trifecta of Musket Man (my favorite), Friesan Fire, Dunkirk and Hold Me Back.

Very impressive seeing Borel basically Walter Payton high step down the back stretch two days in a row in the two biggest races of the year. I've been going to Oaks/Derby for a long time and I won't soon forget those performances.

I realize the track was slop, but Mother Nature did those of us who go to the track a HUH-YUGE favor by raining overnight both days and leaving us alone while at the track. Much thanks!

Also nice to get so many people taking second and third looks at me for my outfit (first the jacket and then the shoes). Ebay money well spent!

And a further plus was hitting a big Exacta and decent Trifecta on Oaks day which meant I didn't need to hit the ATM again before heading out Saturday. Plus, I was able to leave Derby Day with money in my pocket as well. Always nice to not have to spend/bet all the money you've budgeted for the weekend.

Happy Derby!!!

(edited by DrewDewce on 3.5.09 0716)


�You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face.�
Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comic�s �Manhunter�)
TheOldMan
Landjager








Since: 13.2.03
From: Chicago

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.93
    Originally posted by DrewDewce
    Very impressive seeing Borel basically Walter Payton high step down the back stretch two days in a row in the two biggest races of the year. I've been going to Oaks/Derby for a long time and I won't soon forget those performances.


Right team, but when I saw that horse move down the backstretch, I was thinking "Devon Hester kickoff return" - hit the hole and good-bye!

So now that I know what that Beyers number meant, and given that Mine That Bird was the last horse to qualify - doesn't that make this win about as unlikely as a Mountain West team winning the BCS Championship?



LinearRO
Bauerwurst








Since: 5.1.02
From: West Los Angeles, California

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.93
The report is that Mine That Bird's Beyer came back as 105. That's still a massive improvement of 24 (I think that is about eighteen lengths improvement) over his previous best in the Borderland Derby.

That number might make sense given where it puts other horses. Pioneerof the Nile would get 96, which would match his last on the synthetic in the Santa Anita Derby. Musket Man would get 95 or 96, just two points shy of his last. And Papa Clem would get 94, seven shy of his last race.

Still, I wonder if that means Dunkirk's 108 in his Florida Derby effort was inaccurate or the sloppy track and/or poor trip (including a very visible stumble at the start) did him in. Same wonder goes for the other two last race 100+ earners (West Side Bernie, 9th, 101 in the Wood Memorial, 83 here; Friesan Fire, favorite, 18th, 104 on a sloppy track in the Louisiana Derby, 46 here).



Oooooooh, Ahhhhhh, Eeeeeee, Yaaaaaaaaa, Grrrrrrrrr, you son of a oh, eeeeeeee, and that's how we shave. -Homer Simpson
Downtown Bookie
Morcilla








Since: 7.4.02
From: The Inner City, Now Living In The Country

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37
Sorry for coming late to the discussion, but I thought I would tack on Andrew Beyer's take on Mine That Bird's Derby win.
    Originally posted by Andy Beyer in the Washington Post
    After Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby, all reports of the race noted the 50-1 payoff was the second highest in the race's history. Even so, most casual fans probably did not appreciate the magnitude of this incomprehensible upset.

    Because many people blindly bet on longshots in the Derby, even hopeless horses rarely go off at odds higher than 50-1. Mine That Bird deserved to be 200-1. This was one of the biggest upsets in the history of American racing. In my four decades of covering the sport, it ranks as one of the two most mystifying results in a major stakes race, along with Canonero II's victory in the 1971 Derby.

    For devotees of speed figures - which usually have been a reliable gauge of Derby horses - this result was especially hard to explain. Since the publication of the Beyer Speed Figures, the weakest horse to win the Derby was Giacomo, who had never earned a figure higher than 98 before he scored his 50-1 upset in 2005. Yet Giacomo looked like a superhorse compared with Mine That Bird, whose best lifetime figure was the 81 he recorded while losing an obscure stakes race in New Mexico. His figure of 105 in the Derby represented a 17-length improvement.

    How did it happen? I put that question Sunday to a few of the people whose opinions I respect the most: professional handicappers Maury Wolff and Paul Cornman; New York Racing Association TV analyst Andy Serling; and ESPN commentator Randy Moss. With their help, I have tried to fashion an explanation for Saturday's events.

    It's not a simple explanation, but as Moss said, "What happened was a perfect storm of situations that added up to give you a wacky result."

    These were the elements of the perfect storm:

    * The Derby field was weak and the best horses delivered poor performances on the sloppy track.

    * Racing on or near the rail was an advantage at Churchill Downs on Saturday, and jockey Calvin Borel took advantage of the conditions by keeping Mine That Bird on the rail.

    * Mine That Bird obviously relished the sloppy track, and he evidently possessed more talent than his past performances indicated.

    * The two outstanding members of the 3-year-old crop, I Want Revenge and Quality Road, had been knocked out of the Derby by injuries; I Want Revenge was scratched on the morning of the race. In their absence, nobody possessed rock-solid credentials.

    Even in a normal year, few horses deliver peak performances in the Derby - it's an extraordinarily difficult and stressful race. Over a sloppy track, even fewer horses fire their best shots. On Saturday, Friesan Fire, the favorite, barely picked up his feet and lost by more than 40 lengths. Dunkirk, the second choice, lost by more than 20. Almost nobody besides the winner ran well. If Mine That Bird hadn't been in the field, the winning speed figure for the Derby would have been 95 - by far the lowest ever for a Triple Crown event.

For those interested, the full article may be found here (drf.com). As for my own thoughts on the subject:

- Rachel Alexandra, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (sports.espn.go.com) the day prior, could have beaten this field.

- Kelly Leak, Mythical Power and Scorewithcater are the three horses who finished ahead of Mine That Bird in the Sunland Derby (horseswild.com) (Scorewithcater also finished a neck in front of Mine That Bird while winning the Birdland Derby on February 28). It'll be interesting to see how those horses run this summer.

- In the race book where I watched the Derby, nobody was cheering after Mine That Bird crossed the finish line. Nobody in the place had it. I had never experienced that before; not when War Emblem won in 2002; not when Giacomo won in 2005. No matter how long the shot, normally somebody has it. Noone in the entire book had Mine That Bird. Nobody was cheering.




http://www.americasupportsyou.mil


"Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." - Isaiah 58:7 (New Living Translation)
DrewDewce
Bratwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Derby City

Since last post: 14 days
Last activity: 7 days
Y!:
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.67
    Originally posted by Downtown Bookie
    In the race book where I watched the Derby, nobody was cheering after Mine That Bird crossed the finish line. Nobody in the place had it. I had never experienced that before; not when War Emblem won in 2002; not when Giacomo won in 2005. No matter how long the shot, normally somebody has it. Noone in the entire book had Mine That Bird. Nobody was cheering.


The same person on our Derby Bus (best way to go and we were doing it waaaaay before the Smarty Jones folks) who had Giacomo in 2005 had Mine That Bird this year. Why yes, I *will* be putting a nice bet on whatever she picks next year, why do you ask?

At least after the lengthy explanation above, I don't feel *as* bad about talking myself out of it . . .



You are going to get a certain amount of snarkiness on the Internet no matter what, and my rule is that you don't post anything that you wouldn't say to someone's face.
Marc Andreyko (Writer of DC Comics Manhunter)
kwik
Summer sausage








Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.08
    Originally posted by DrewDewce
      Originally posted by Downtown Bookie
      In the race book where I watched the Derby, nobody was cheering after Mine That Bird crossed the finish line. Nobody in the place had it. I had never experienced that before; not when War Emblem won in 2002; not when Giacomo won in 2005. No matter how long the shot, normally somebody has it. Noone in the entire book had Mine That Bird. Nobody was cheering.


    The same person on our Derby Bus (best way to go and we were doing it waaaaay before the Smarty Jones folks) who had Giacomo in 2005 had Mine That Bird this year. Why yes, I *will* be putting a nice bet on whatever she picks next year, why do you ask?

    At least after the lengthy explanation above, I don't feel *as* bad about talking myself out of it . . .


My grandmother hit on Mine That Bird, through a mistake. Really.

She had a mild stroke earlier this year, and is mostly recovered. She still has occasional moments where she reaches for words, or reads things incorrectly. So, she's looking at the sheet for the Derby this year, she only bets the Triple Crown races, and her one rule is that if there's a gray horse in the field, she bets it. She gets to Mine That Bird, and somehow sees "gray gelding" on the sheet. So, the bet goes in to OTB, and while I wasn't there for the race, I can presume that her thought process went from "Oh, crap", to Oh, CRAP!!!"



Downtown Bookie
Morcilla








Since: 7.4.02
From: The Inner City, Now Living In The Country

Since last post: 98 days
Last activity: 15 days
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.37
    Originally posted by me above
    - Kelly Leak, Mythical Power and Scorewithcater are the three horses who finished ahead of Mine That Bird in the Sunland Derby (horseswild.com) (Scorewithcater also finished a neck in front of Mine That Bird while winning the Birdland Derby on February 28). It'll be interesting to see how those horses run this summer.
Just to follow up on that thought, Scorewithcater ran in today's Peter Pan Stakes (drf.com) at Belmont Park. Scorewithcater went off at final odds of 6.70-1 and finished fifth, more than a dozen lengths behind the winner, Charitable Man. Belmont was favoring frontrunners throughout the day; none of today's winners were worse than third at the half, and seven of today's ten winners (including the last five) had the lead at the stretch call. Scorewithcater (who raced well back early before coming five wide entering the stretch) wasn't nearly good enough to overcome that track bias.

Meanwhile, Mythical Power raced in today's Grade III Lone Star Derby (drf.com) as the even money favorite and won for fun, finishing seven and a half lengths ahead of Red Lead. The Bob Baffert trained Mythical Power paid $4.20, $3.00, and $2.40.




http://www.americasupportsyou.mil


"Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." - Isaiah 58:7 (New Living Translation)
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