Shortly after Mind That Bird scored the second largest upset in Kentucky Derby history, surely there were champagne corks flying inside the management offices at Pimlico Race Course. The fact that a highly unlikely colt won the Derby on an off track, gives MJC hope that a number of Derby starters connections will strongly consider running in the 134th Preakness. A big field (of 8 or more horses) equates to a larger crowd which means more wagering dollars. As Damon Wayans would say in one “In Living Color” TV show skit, “Mo Money, Mo Money, Mo Money”.
I felt that NBC botched coverage of the winner, in that all they could talk about was trainer Bennie “Chip” Wooley Jr.’s shattered ankle from a motorcycle accident and that he vanned Mind That Bird from New Mexico to Louisville, as if the latter was so unusual? NBC wasn’t the only one caught without any “skinny” on the Derby winner, trainer and owners. After NBC signed off from Louisville, I tuned into TVG who had live coverage of the continuing press conference with trainer Wooley and co-owners Mark Allen and Dr. Leonard Block. It was embarrassing that only a smattering of intelligent horse racing related questions were ask of the trio. The best line came after Mr. Wooley was asked (for about the third time) to explain why he drove Mind That Bird to Louisville in a truck? He chuckled and turned to Mark Allen saying, “This is starting to sound like we drove a ’67 GMC here from New Mexico?!”. The silence was deafening. Now if Bob Baffert or Todd Pletcher would have made that kind of comment, the room would have erupted with laughter.
These gentlemen had just won the biggest prize in all of thoroughbred horse racing, and they were being treated like a bunch of party crashers. It was like watching an old episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies”. The similarities of the cast were uncanny… there was Uncle Jed (Wooley), Jethro (Mark Allen), Mr. Drysdale (Dr. Block), Granny (jockey Calvin Borel) and Ellie Mae (Borel’s youthful fiance’). With the melody of the shows theme song, sing along…
Let me tell ya ‘bout a story of a trainer named Wooley,
Who found himself a horse with Derby eligibility,
The owners said that’s great it will be such a thrill,
So he loaded Mine That Bird in a truck & headed to Louisville…
…Kentucky that is…Churchill Downs… movie stars!
The next thing ya know they needed a good jock,
They got Calvin Borel but knew winning wasn’t a lock,
All they asked was to give them the ride of his life,
And keep his mind on the race and not his smokin’ hot future wife…
…life is good $$$ … thanks to Street Sense in 2007 $$$… and now 2009 $$$… yeah!
Recapping Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 9 (Saturday, May 2nd)…
Best Bet The Prince (# 5; 10th race; 1-1) was bet off the board just because the trainer was Dutrow… well, for the most part that’s why. Unfortunately for his backers, someone forgot to tell the horse he was supposed to run better than the uninspiring 6th.
Longshot Dats Da Bull (# 2; 7th race on the turf; 7-1) lacked early speed as usual, started his run at the far turn but leveled off in the stretch, finishing 5th.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $50 on Henry’s Posse (# 6; 2nd race 1-1) sped quickly from the gate and never looked back in scoring an easy 7½ length victory, paying $4.00 $3.00 and $2.10. Ouch! $2.10?! Well, at least it was a winner returning the minimum 5% on a $2 bet.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 10 (Sunday, May 3rdt)…
Best Bet: Expect No Love (# 2; 2nd race; 8-5)
This is a rough group of low level claimers but this guy is the only one that shows any promise and a ton of back class. This is the bottom of the barrel and there’s only one direction to go… up.
Longshot: Dynadevil (# 5; 7th race on the turf; 20-1)
One of this 7 year old geldings two lifetime victories has come on this grass surface and distance (1 1/8 mile). Jockey upgrade to Malcolm Franklin is just what the doctor ordered.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $117.50 ($115.00 bankroll – $50 wager + $52.50 return
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $52 on Blazen (# 9; 4th race on the turf; 6-5) has a second and third place finish in his only two turf races, gets Jeremy Rose and a bunch of unproven opponents.
Let’s hope Day 10 will be another beautiful day to enjoy the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!