Tag Archives: Horse Racing

Borel & Mine That Bird moon horseracing

Calvin Borel rides MINE THAT BIRD from last place to first at the 2009 Kentucky DerbyTo watch the replay of Calvin Borel’s ride at Churchill Downs is more captivating than it was live. Even anticipating the 50 to 1 upset, Mine That Bird‘s final stretch weave from last place to first looks like an athletic feat for Maradona.

It happened so fast, Mine That Bird was mentioned only once before the end of the race, even then it was almost an omission. Borel was so far behind, laying back after getting squeezed coming out of the gate by Papa Clem and Join In the Dance, that the broadcast announcer missed him entirely, declaring that “the last of them all is Mr. Hot Stuff.” Midway through his next phrase he corrects himself to add that “–well behind the rest of them is Mine That Bird.”

From that point, Mine That Bird’s wild ride is ignored even beyond his breakthrough into the lead. As Borel bursts into contention along the inside rail, the announcer erupts “Pioneer of the Nile!” by mistake, or if even because he was looking elsewhere. It isn’t until Borel pulls to a several length lead that Mine That Bird gets a credit. Such was the upset.

Seen from the aerial view, the finish was not a surprise at all. Accelerating into the last turn, Borel and Mine That Bird wove between the others like they were plotting the shortest line between points. The speed differential reminded me of a Grand Prix racer when he’s passing the cars he’s already lapped. As the improbable pair began gaining, their momentum seemed all but irresistible. Watching the replay, you can see Borel’s attack, and marvel that it escaped the attention of all the professionals who usually weigh in so liberally with effusive expertise.

Horse racing is a legitimization of eugenics, meaning that when there is money on the line, genetic supremacy is hard science. That is perhaps what is so invigorating about the Churchill Downs upset. Calvin Borel, the physical personification of a toothless street-corner imbecile, and Mine That Bird, a horse sold for a price less than your average Paint, trained outside the gated enclaves of Kentucky.

RACE RESULT with ENTRY NUMBERS:
1. Mine That Bird #8
2. Pioneer of the Nile #16
3. Musket Man #2
4. Papa Clem #7
5. Chocolate Candy #11
6. Summer Bird #17
7. Join in the Dance #9
8. Regal Ransom #10
9. West Side Bernie #1
10. General Quarters #12
11. Dunkirk #15
12. Hold Me Back #5
13. Advice #4
14. Desert Party #19
15. Mr. Hot Stuff #3
16. Atomic Rain #14
17. Nowhere to Hide #18
18. Friesan Fire #6
19. Flying Private #20

Election less like horse race than curling

News anchors report our elections like they were horse races. But I think the media upper class are more disinterested than we think, and less.

I will agree that election play by play is presented like it was sport. We’re given pundits musing about strategies and results without a sense that one election outcome could mean anything different than another. News-people are entitled to their disinterest, maybe even their own sense of objectivity, but who wins an election is only half of the story. It’s what they’re going to do after the election.

I suppose that would be to expect reporters to convey subjectivity, if issues and outcome mattered. If the election is no more than a spectator sport, I think that horse racing is the wrong analogy.

Calling an election reminds me completely of curling. Curling is the mostly Canadian sport of throwing a heavy thing down a long lane of ice, much like shuffleboard. But in curling skaters travel ahead and, by sweeping furiously on the path before it, they can effect the course of the object in motion, to bring it to the position they intend.

NMT to live-blog the Belmont Stakes!

Belmont
The Patriots lost the Superbowl, presaging the break of America’s patriotic streak, relegating it to mud wrestling I thought. But the multimillionaire owners of Big Brown, one race away from the Triple Crown, decided their jockey should wear the Stars and Stripes. I want to be there while the otherwise favorite bites red white & blue hubris.

The 140th Belmont will be NotMyTribe’s first live-blogging exercise. Not too long. Ten minutes to post. I’m off to Google an image.

Image above. Now Big Brown’s trainer has guaranteed a win. More American Bring It On.

There they go! They’re off. Big Brown not far behind. Ichabod trails. On the outside Big Brown. Waits on the outside. Millions riding on this race. For all those unemployed hoping to to live off a bet on the horses.

A half mile to go. Marie’s up on her feet. Swinging her arms at the TV. She points out that Big Brown is last. Into the final 16th. A shocking something. 38 to 1 Da’Tara.

Stars and Stripes last. Hubris Baby.