As you all know, the buzz horse for this year's Kentucky Derby is none other than McCraken. His works are "amazing", he cools out "like a good horse should", he looks "shiny like a seal", his baths are "Orb-like". As well, there are numerous rumours surrounding the horse, and his super-human ability. He has captured the imagination of everyone; even curmudgeonly turf writers like Marcus Hersh.
With that, after this morning's jog ("perfect") McCraken met the press for the very first time. Here's a summary.
"I know y'all have wanted to talk to McCraken, so today McCraken speaks," said McCraken. "Go.... you right there." McCraken motioned his glistening hoof to the DRF's Marty McGee.
"How are you feeling? You look good, you look strong, you look formidable. Are my eyes deceiving me? Or are you really this good?"
"No Marty, your eyes are the windows to McCraken's soul, and McCraken's soul is strong," said McCraken. "I've been doing what I need to do, working out like Wilksy asks, cleaning out the feed tub. After that McCraken heads right to bed, and sleeps like a small baby."
"Follow up. I saw on twitter you worked the other day and cleaned out your feed tub, then you went and cleaned out Classic Empire's feed tub. Was this a form of intimidation?"
"McCraken doesn't intimidate. That's starting something, and McCraken only finishes. McCraken did walk by Empire's stall the other day, and he did eat his food. It wasn't intimidation, it was McCraken being hungry."
"Why do you talk about yourself in the third person?" asked Joe Drape of the New York Times
"McCraken talks about himself in the 4th person." said McCraken. Drape, and others, looked confused.
Andy Serling walked in and said "Holy crap, a talking horse".
"Jennie Rees here. McCraken, there's been a lot of talk about revenue sharing. Churchill Downs takes most of the betting money on the Derby, with little going back to the athletes. You've been vocal, asking for more of a revenue share. Do you think it's your place? Do you fear a backlash from the executives?"
"If McCraken doesn't show up in the starting gate revenues will plummet, people won't show up, a lot of people will be betting Golden Gate, or Mountaineer instead. As for a backlash, McCraken doesn't care."
"What if they give you the one hole?", Rees queried.
"They tell me no horse has won from there, but those horses weren't McCraken."
"Is there any horse that scares you when you are watching them on the track?" asked the DRF's Marcus Hersh.
"No. but I do see some and feel sorry for them. Like those Pletcher horses - I think I saw, what, six or eight of them. Monogrammed saddles with fancy "TAP" letters? If you have to wear your team name on a shirt, no one knows who you are. I go out naked, and everyone knows it's McCraken."
"There's been a lot of rumors you've been sneaking out at night and partying a little, y'know, with some of the ladies," asked the Cummings Report's Ray Paulick.
"My agent Sid Fernando told me not to partake in any of that. He says 'wait for the stud deal McCraken'. I listen to my agent, unlike some of these other horses. And by the way you look like Kevin Bacon," said McCraken.
"Dave Litfin here. McCraken, I heard a story last week that you were bit by a poisonous spider, but the spider was the one who died, and you went out, worked in 35.2 and came back and cleaned out your feed tub. This seems like a ridiculous story. Is it true?"
"No, it's not. Hyperbole follows McCraken. It was not a spider, it was a cobra. He bit me, I shook it off, he was in pain for awhile and died. I then went and worked in 57 for 5 furlongs, not three furlongs. But yes, I did clean out my feed tub." said McCraken.
"Wow, was your trainer worried?"
"He was. He even made one of my vets take a blood to make sure all was well."
"How was your blood?"
"It came back 'titanium'," said McCraken.
"Ok. McCraken wants to leave now. This has grown tiresome. I wish you all well with your writing jobs, and we'll see you in the winners circle next Saturday. By the way, you press folks will be watching the race from the finish line this year. McCraken asked the corporate types to move you back there; where you belong. McCraken loves the press, and those CDI suits are scared of McCraken."
Keep it tuned right here for more from the PTP Blog as we get closer to the Derby. Have a great Thursday.