If _______ Wins the Kentucky Derby .......

Derby week is in a full court press. Everyone is getting ready, talking about their favorite charges. Everyone is pumped. Heck, no one seems to be even too upset with Churchill Downs Inc yet.  But soon that will all change.

As soon as the Derby winner crosses the wire, hyperbole, shock, amazement and other adjectives and some adverbs will ensue. The winner will have a place in history.

Here's a run down of the pull that each horse has, as a Derby winner, and what narrative might surround him (or her), post race. (hold it, not her, we don't like fillies in the Derby anymore.)

Anyhoo, here we go.

Dortmund - This one lights the Triple Crown fires on the twitter. There will be dueling articles about how it might save racing and help US viewership of a European soccer team's games. Since he's so big, everyone will want to buy giant sized yearlings. If he wins, it has coattails.

American Pharoah - Ditto with Dortmund, but perhaps with even more steam. Very little downside. Although, perhaps, Peta or the New York Times will write a scathing article about how racing people can't spell a horse's name. This, of course, causes the animal feelings of negative self worth because he is made fun of by other horses with properly spelled names.

International Star - Ken and Sarah Ramsey own this horse, and I've never heard of them. Have you? Didn't think so. This makes this horse the people's champ.

Carpe Diem - A win would allow Todd Pletcher to pass Chip Wooley in all time Derby training wins. 

Frosted - If Frosted wins, every owner in North America will be sending their horse in to get their palate trimmed. The American Veterinary Association's pick.

Mubtaahij - There are several obvious memes with this horse - he will have trouble trending on twitter because people can't spell his name, the most-excellent Candice Curtis-led hashtag #Moobie will get the exposure it deserves. But the big thing is that he will have won without lasix. The anti-lasix forces will have a big summer. UK racing writers will beam in pride that a dude from across the pond won the "American cowboy race". Plenty here.

War Story - This will probably result in a movie being made five years from now titled "75 to 1"

Stanford - From a branding perspective, it's probably not great for Thoroughbred racing to have a Derby winner named after a school no one can afford to go to. On the plus side, @notthetoddster would be fun on twitter.

Tencendur - From the buzz I am reading, I am not even sure this horse is in the field. This probably ensures that all post Derby chatter will be about boxing.

Materiality - This will finally end the gawd-awful Apollo talk; until next year when another one comes up and the Apollo narrative goes from "can't win", to "they don't win often".

El Kabeir - If this guy wins the words 'Borail' will trend on the twitter, Calvin Borel will start charging six figures for Derby mounts. And he'll get it.

Upstart - This one will not elicit too much of a reaction. Upstart is a hard trying, grinder, honest to goodness racehorse. The public doesn't like when those win. He's like cheering for an accountant.

Far Right - This horse ensures the words "new shooter" are heard for two full weeks. Since most of us want that phrase banished from horse racing, I can't see him having too many fans.

Itsaknockout - For about five hours after the Derby - with the big fight being telecast - this will be an insufferable win. By Sunday everyone will shift and the conversation will be about why Dortmund lost.

Firing Line - If this horse wins this comment will trend on the twitter: "He almost beat Dortmund and he was 8 times the odds. Me stupid head." Total Derby hand wringer.

Danzig Moon - This one probably ensures there will be no Triple Crown, and Chris Kay will have to draft a press release that despite Eagles cover bands and a full stakes menu for the Belmont, year over year handle was quizzically down.

Bolo - A good turf horse has not won the Derby since forever (or 2012). This one will cause mucho-consternation. 

Keen Ice - This will be the Mine That Bird reaction without Calvin Borel helping it.

Mr Z - "Coach" trends. 143,542 bettors who bet him in his last few and lost their shirts get really mad.

Ocho Ocho Ocho - McKinsey writes a press release about how this broadens racing's demographic. Otherwise, people will be just scratching their heads and talking about new shooters.

I am not sure who I am betting for the Derby presented by Yum brands (I think that's KFC and stuff like that), but there's my wrap of what you may expect post-Derby if your horse wins.

Enjoy your day everyone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to completely embarrass myself with my views on the Derby.

I really like Dortmund. If you back one of the favorites, you must have a horse that can overcome adversity if the trouble free trip eludes him, and the twenty horse field makes that the likely scenario. This is a big, athletic colt that showed me a lot of guts winning the San Felipe despite several horses taking big runs at him early. If things don’t work out trip wise in the Derby, this colt possibly has the physical dominance to win the race anyway. He reminds me of Point Given, another extremely big colt trained by Baffert who might have won the Triple Crown if he wasn’t stuck wide early chasing a blistering 44 and change front half.

American Pharoah is the likely favorite. The press and the public love this guy and what’s not to like. The question is how will he respond if the trouble free trip eludes him in a field of twenty. His workout at Churchill Sunday had insiders raving about the colt as he rattled off quarterly splits of 11 2/5, 11 3/5, 11 3/5, 11 4/5 and 12.0 culminating in a brilliant final five furlong work of 58 2/5. Winning the Arkansas Derby by eight lengths in front of 67,500 people at Oaklawn while appearing to never get out of first gear makes him clearly the one to beat.

Which long shots will get the right trip and blow up the tote board? Your guess is as good as mine. My two prices are El Kabier and Mubtaahil, the winner of the UAE derby. I hope he doesn’t have jet lag. The great thing about this race and the reason the handle is so amazing is because with twenty horses you can’t predict what is going to happen. You really should have a small investment of just long shots and take a chance that lightning can strike.

Did you know that three of the last ten Derby $1 superfecta payouts were over $100,000? Did you know that seven of the last ten Derby supers paid over $20,000 for a buck? In 2005, Giacomo keyed the all time record superfecta payout of $864,253.50 on a one dollar bet. The $2 exacta was $9,814.80 and the $2 trifecta paid $133,134.80. In other words, after you have made your logical selections and wagers, invest a small amount of money on a totally unpredictable result. You never know what might happen in front of 157,000 people.

My final opinion is this . In the event the derby finish is Dortmund, American Pharoah and El Kabier, the purse money might not be enough to pay for the party after the races for Baffert and his owners. Have fun and be smart on one of the greatest days in racing.

Michael A


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