Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Derby Day at the Point

The gang at Coltons Point gathered for the 135th Kentucky Derby with a bevy of hats and a flurry of long shots making it a most interesting ride. After the morning favorite scratched from the race it was wide open and the Pointer faithful managed to bet in a manner that had eight winners of the various pools.
Even Mary Poppins showed up...

Only in the Point could the results come out like they did as I, for one, picked a long shot West Side Bernie who finished ninth and I still won the pool for third place. It seems the handicapping of the crowd was lacking as no one picked 6 of the top 8 horses.

Then again even the pros had a tough day since the favorite at the time of the race finished 18 out of 19. The jaw-dropping winner, Mine That Bird, broke all the odds and almost all the records with the second highest payout in Derby history at 50-1 odds, paying $103.20 on a $2.00 bet.

A horse that sold for $9,500 racing against multi-million dollar horses. A trainer who broke his leg and hobbled around on crutches had to tow the Derby champion in a trailer on a 21 hour drive from New Mexico to get to Churchill Downs. Most horses come by chartered jet. A jockey not given a chance but who won the Derby two years ago on Street Sense simply could not believe the horse he was riding.

The high rollers were in town...

Back at the Point the hats were all the buzz and the participants were pretty buzzed themselves. Mint Juleps were everywhere as we learned more about the strange little horse. The trainer, Bennie "Chip" Woolley was an ex-rodeo cowboy who broke his leg in a motorcycle accident two months ago.

The owners were two New Mexico buddies, Mark Allen and Dr. Leonard Blach who purchased him in Canada of all places. You could not miss the cowboys with their bolo ties and cowboy hats. The jockey, Calvin Borel burst into tears as he crossed the finish line but had never seen the horse until the Monday before the race.

Winners of the hottest hat contest...

The owners didn't believe the little horse had a chance and the trainer almost left the grandstand halfway through the race when his horse was far behind the leaders and trailing the entire field of horses. And then the Gods of Churchill Downs stepped in and the horse was on fire blazing to a 6 3/4 length victory.

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