Sunday, 2 May 2010

If It Had Four Legs And A Jockey On Its Back...

... then it must have been at least 30/1 to top the 2010 Kentucky Derby field. Fascinating case study in mass psychology and otherwise, this edition of the Run for the Roses was a strange but enjoyable one.

Super Saver became a worthy if somewhat circumstantial winner employing a strategy that is already hinted at in his name. A clear misnomer however was Looking At Lucky, who first had to be taken back right after the start, then was almost body-slammed into the rail by Stately Victor. That he still came back to finish sixth marks him as the best horse in this race. Devil May Care encountered a good deal of adversity too, but it's hard to say how many places it dropped her. Paddy O'Prado finished third, but should have been taken out of the race after shoving over Stately Victor – the incident that ruined the race for Looking at Lucky and could have easily resulted in a major spill on the rail. A perfect example of reckless raceriding that would have earned Kent Desormeaux a suspension anywhere outside of America.

And finally, I'm weirdly torn between embarrassment and pride on that handicapping job I did on Ice Box. On the one hand, I did expect him to finish off the board despite a lot of potential, on the other he did indeed lose all chance to threaten the winner by going far too wide on the final turn, and caught on for second with the help of what I see as a visibly firmer lane compared to most other horses (kudos to Jose Lezcano).
I'm not usually a fan of The Toddster, but you had to have some compassion with the silver-haired Ray Barone doppelgänger (I never noticed that before) for having to smile through the same dumb jokes every year, and particularly after the bad luck he had with Eskendereya.

NBC was dealt a good hand starting their program off with a McCarthy/General Quarters victory, but they also did a nice job presenting this race to a larger audience, though they unnecessarily screwed up the audio during 'Old Kentucky Home', and failed to do so when they should have during that bad rendition of 'Star-Spangled Banner'. The camerawork was horrible especially during those crucial moments when the horses entered the stretch and you needed a HD home cinema to see anything, but that's not NBC's fault.

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