Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Kentucky Derby Day

It’s Kentucky Derby Day!

Here at Big Pink we are all excited. The race, the people, the horses, the silks, the hats – all are exciting!

First, the horses in the race:

Cool Coal Man, Tale of Ekati, Anak Nakal, Court Vision, Eight Belles, Z Fortune, Big Truck, Visionaire, Pyro, colonel John, Z Humor, Smooth Air, Bob Black Jack, Monba, Adriano, Denis of Cork, Cowboy Cal, Recapturetheglory, Gayego, and Big Brown.

The Kentucky Derby is not just about the horse running in the race:

It takes a team to produce a Derby winner – from the breeders’ initial mating, through the foaling on the farm, and then finally to the racetrack. Once every spring, one team made up of jockey, owner, trainer and breeder realizes its dream in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Derby official song is the great Stephen Foster classic My Old Kentucky Home. The official drink is the Mint Julep.

What exactly is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).[1] The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the US and typically draws around 155,000 fans.

The Kentucky Derby bills itself as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”. This is not exactly true. The Kentucky Derby is the final 2 minutes in a very long process. The horses in the Kentucky Derby are the best of the best having proven their merit for years.

By now many readers of Big Pink are wondering “Why are we reading so much about a blasted horse race?”

Aside from a naked, shameless, pander to the voters in that great and wonderful state of Kentucky there are lessons to be learned from the Kentucky Derby in this 2008 Presidential race.

First of all let’s take notice that all the horses running for this big prize in Kentucky – have experience.

The horses running in the Kentucky Derby have proven their mettle and worth for years. These are champions. A horse can’t just come in from carting vegetables and run for the Roses.

Second, although there are 20 horses in the lineup, its possible not all of them will run. One or several horses might be “scratched”. For whatever reasons, strategic, health of horse, injury, some horses get pulled from the race by the owners. Some horses get “scratched” from the race by officials.

But guess what, just because a horse gets “scratched” the race is still run. The horses still run.

The owners of the horse that got “scratched” voluntarily cannot state that the race does not count. The owners of the horse that got “scratched” voluntarily cannot demand a share in the purse. The owners of the horse that got “scratched” voluntarily cannot say that race is invalid because “I did not participate”. The owners of the horse that got “scratched” voluntarily cannot ask millions of viewers of the race and bettors and historians to erase the race results from history.

Dean/Obama/Brazille/Pelosi must have the respect for Michigan (and Florida) voters that horse racing officials have for their participants.

Happy Derby!