Kentucky Derby

Other than playing around with the kids in the back yard this weekend, there is only one place I would rather be, and that's in the stands at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.

Oh yeah, there are too many people there, and I would probably lose money, but it would be a long, hot and fun day.

So why don't we take a quick look at the horses and see if this old news horse can find a three year old to watch when the gate opens on Saturday.

It's been 31 years since we had a Triple Crown winner when Affirmed beat Alydar in three unbelievable races.  That's a longer drought than the 25 years between Citation's sweep in 1948 and the efforts of Secretariat in 1973.

Take a look at Secretariat winning the Derby in 1973 to get you ready.

And then there's one of the articles about the Derby that actually sparked what is known as "Gonzo Journalism," when Hunter S. Thompson took a very weird trek to Louisville for the 1970 Derby.

If you haven't read it before, then it may curl the hair on your toes a bit.

But let's get back to this year's Derby.

"I Want Revenge not only looks the favorite but should be the favorite," reports my father, who tries his best to frequent parimutuel gambling establishments most Saturdays.

"General Quarters will be the sentimental favorite because he is his 75 year old owner/trainer's only horse, who paid $20,000 for him," he added.

"Dunkirk could be potentially the best horse but Pletcher has had to push him too quickly and I bet he flounders," my father concluded.

Like father, like son - Dunkirk caught my eye as well while reading the past performances from the Daily Racing Form on the train into work yesterday.

But for Dunkirk to win, he will have to break a jinx that is one of the oldest in all of sport.

A win in the Kentucky Derby for Dunkirk would make him the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win it without racing at least once as a two year old.

Friesan Fire will get a lot of play, even though he hasn't raced since March when he won the Lousiana Derby. He did have a very good workout this week at Churchill.

If you like Hollywood, then you will go with trainer Bob Baffert and his horse, Pioneer of the Nile, who won the Santa Anita Derby in California. But he has never run on real dirt, since they now use a synthetic surface out at Santa Anita.

The East Coast smart guys will bet I Want Revenge; the West Coast will back Pioneer of the Nile; others will split between Friesan Fire and Papa Clem.

I guess since I have gotten this far, I have to make a pick, eh? GIve me something with a little value. How about a $2 exacta box of 6-7-15, Friesan Fire, Papa Clem and Dunkirk.

And they're off!

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