Thursday, May 10, 2007

One Down and Two to Go

My friends know not to plan a cookout, birthday bash for anyone, or generally to ask me to leave the confines of my home... and my 51 inch HDTV on the first Saturday in May. Why?

The Run for the Roses.

On the first Saturday in May, the Kentucky Derby does its best to live up to its tradition of being the most exciting two minutes in sports! This year it did not fail.

With a field of 20 horses, many of whom had the talent to pull off this great feat... the world sat on the edge of their respective seats and waited for the bugles to blare, the drunken crowd to sing "My Old Kentucky Home" and ponder just what Larry Birkhead may be up to in the midst of all the hoopla.

The Queen was in attendance as well. I wonder if she sang the familiar refrain? She may not have known the melody... but once she has experienced it live and in person, I daresay, she's wondering why it has taken her this long to arrive and witness the extravaganza! I wonder if Larry Birkhead spoke to the Queen and asked for advice in raising a child.

The morning favorite was a spunky Curlin, but I wouldn't have put money on him. Not that he isn't a fine horse... he finished third... but he had only raced three times and in none of those races, were there 19 other horses competing for the finish line. I wonder if the bell clanged, the gates opened, Curlin hit the field and thought "who the heck are all these guys?"

Street Sense didn't appear to be worried. He and his more-than-capable jockey hung back in the pack for much of the first part of the race. They let everyone push and bump each other and Calvin edged Street Sense over towards the rail... a spot well-favored by both the horse and jockey... and waited for the Red Sea of Horseflesh to part.

And part it did.

Calvin motored Street Sense through the pack like James Bond would drive his Asti Martin through snow-covered Alps. Gracefully and with a sure hand. And then... rider nor horse ever looked back.

Street Sense must have had an idea he had won by the exuberance of Calvin, who pumped his fists in the air and threw the crowd a smile bright enough to be seen in Dubai.

As the most exciting two minutes in sports came to a close, America found a new favorite horse and embraced a jockey with a thirst for life and the Triple Crown. Onward and upward Street Sense!

One down and two to go!!

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