It's Derby Week, which is fun in so many ways. Everyone (well maybe not everyone, Alan) is stoked.
Last night the week kicked off with a 60 Minutes interview (and profile) with Rosie Napravnik. I'm a bettor and I know and follow horses, and I know and follow statistics of trainers and riders, but forgive me: I don't have the foggiest about many of racing's personalities. She's one of them, so like most of North America, I got to see her first hand, for really the first time.
And boy did I like what I saw. She was professional and very sharp; just like she is on the racetrack. It's rare to see someone in sports - anyone - who's making serious coin at age 25, not come off as somewhat unpolished in interviews. She blew that stereotype out of the water. I don't know you Rosie, and probably never will, (and you probably don't care about my opinion either way) but I think you did the sport proud yesterday.
I had to chuckle at the Todd Pletcher submarine when he said "girl jockey". This fit perfectly into the narrative of the story and CBS used it. This is a sport where "girl and boy" are used more often than most, and Todd might've just had a slip of the tongue anyway, but it was a green light in the world of journalism. As @notthetoddster might say...... "Boom!"
One last point I find somewhat interesting: Has a network done more for racing than what CBS has? NBC, ESPN and others get paid to show many races, through Churchill and the Jockey Club, but CBS, through this Rosie interview and the last profile on Zenyatta before the Breeders Cup has probably done more for ratings than anything they've done. It begs the question: Why wasn't this profile on NBC's Dateline, or myriad other news programs? Why isn't more done by these networks?
Saturday's Levy Final for $450,000 at Yonkers, won by Razzle Dazzle, wasn't much to watch, but such is half mile track racing. Half mile track racing is what it is, and there probably isn't much harness racing can do about it. Other than the Jug, which is a once a year race, I find (and most bettors agree) it's far too predictable. On the good side, Yonkers did have their second $1M plus handle night of the meet on Saturday.
Who do you like in the Derby? That's a question we've been hearing for months. But this week is the week that that question is answered when so much happens. Who do I like in the Derby? I will know when:
- The post positions are drawn
- The bias of the track is apparent
- How the horses look in the post parade
- What the odds board says
Have a great day everyone!