My Horse Won!

My best was on "Mine That Bird," winner of the 135th Kenturcky Derby on May 2.

My bet was on "Mine That Bird," winner of the 135th Kentucky Derby on May 2. It was the second biggest upset in Derby history.

I’d never heard of “Mine That Bird” until my husband pulled his name out of a hat at a Kentucky Derby party today.   “Mine That Bird” was a 50-1 shot.   (I’d never heard of any of the other horses, either…)

“There goes the ten dollars we threw in the pot” was my thought when I looked at the odds.  It was fun, though, to watch all of the hoopla, the big hats, the race horses being led, the jockey parade, then one by one the jockeys popping onto the horses and then sauntering to the gates. The mint juleps we were drinking added to the glow.

imageSuddenly, the horses burst out of the gate.    My horse wasn’t a front runner,  I couldn’t pick him out of the pack (herd?) on the track, I assumed he was the last one, and I had no idea Number Eight was the horse that was racing ahead until he crossed the finish line. 

“That’s my horse, that’s my horse,” I yelled.  No one else was all that excited, because they all had losing horses. (Losers!)  They did agree it was certainly one of the most interesting Derbys they’d ever watched, and they watch the Derby every year. (I confess that I usually miss it, but I might be hooked now!)  It was fascinating to watch the race from a shot overhead afterward.  It showed “Mine That Bird” moving steadily and rapidly through the horse crowd along the rail until it broke through and took off.  (See video below.)Derby bet

According to the Associated Press story by Beth Harris, “Sent off at 50-1 odds, Mine That Bird pulled away in the stretch to score a 6 3/4 -length victory at Churchill Downs, the second-biggest upset in Derby history.  His margin was the largest since Assault won by eight lengths in 1946.

The gelding ran 1 miles on a sloppy dirt track in 2:02.66 and paid $103.20 to win—second-largest payout in Derby history behind Donerail ($184.90) in 1913.”

Calvin Borel, the Louisiana jockey who rode Mine That Bird to victory, won the Derby in 2007, using the same strategyof racing his mount along the rail, which is why he’s called Calvin Bo-rail.

 The last bet I made was on “Sunny’s Halo,” who won the Kentucky Derby in 1983, so I’ve been a lucky but very sporadic horse racing gambler.  Both Derby wins had nothing to do with skill, but were totally luck.  Now, let me check my Powerball ticket!




Filed under Animals, Entertainment, Friendship, Life, Personal, Random, Sports

8 responses to “My Horse Won!

  1. wow…really helpful post, thanks for sharing.

  2. alwaysjan

    Love those hats! We had a friend from Kentucky who used to host a Kentucky Derby party every year in LA. But the only thing I ever bet on were the mint juleps. Every year our friend’s postman stopped by the party and enjoyed some refreshments before continuing on his rounds.

  3. Congratulations, Catherine!!!! And thanks so much for posting the video. I hadn’t seen it yet. Mitch

  4. So how much did you win? 🙂 I didn’t watch this year, but I love the romance of horse racing, and the hats. Have you ever read Dick Francis novels? He writes great horse-racing thrillers.

    There were nineteen people who put in $10 each, so it was $190. My run of good luck ran out, though, when I backed into my daughter’s car the next morning. Now I have to fix the dent in her car and get it repainted. I have damage, too. Sigh.

    I have read some Dick Francis novels, but it’s been a while. I should re-read them! A great book is “Horse Heaven” by Jane Smiley.

  5. Wasn’t that some race! I was so excited at that finish, even though I was really wanting Tom McCarthy’s horse General Quarters to win, because that was such a feel good story. BTW, Love your hats! Sorry you have to spend your winnings fixing a dent 😦

    Yes, it was a fun race! I didn’t know the background on any of the horses. I’ll have to look into General Quarters’ story. We took my daughter’s car in for repairs today. $600 for a big dent and some scraped paint. I’ll have to have the same done for mine. The guy said, “Oh, this doesn’t look too bad.” What would “bad” cost! Cathy

  6. You write really well Cath…sorry about the car 🙂

  7. You won! How exciting! I never manage to do that. And what a classy group of women if I may be so bold to comment…definite parallels to Ascot!

    So why is it there’s invariably some sort of maddening incident to take the euphoria away? What a b***** about the car.

    We were a stylish bunch, weren’t we! I felt like Eliza Doolittle from “My Fair Lady”. I got my daghter’s car fixed, but my little dent is still there. I should ahev asked the car body shop if they had punch cards. Twelve dents fixed, get the thirteenth for free!

  8. haha – know the feeling about winning something, and losing bigger, Catherine.

    It was interesting watching the film of the race. It’s been a while since I’ve watching a horse race (NZers are big on their racing) but I found it really interesting that your Clerk of the Course rides a quarter horse and actually made it look like he had to “stop” Mine That Bird – I’m sure he would have stopped of his own accord. Fascinating also to see the interview done on horseback – maybe they do that sort of thing here now too.

    I think our jockey would not be allowed to take his cap off until he’d weighed in, in case he ditched some weights or something.

    How far away is the track from you? Does the whole of the US stop for the Derby? There’s a huge race in Australia (next door to us) called the Melbourne Cup and everyone in both countries stops to watch that and have a gamble. Great fun!

    I think most people in the U.S. are just aware in passing of the race, although if they pay attention attention to any race, it’s the Kentucky Derby. The Derby track is probably a ten-hour drive from me. Friends used to go every year, but I’ve never been in person. I’ve only watched it on the television. I love to watch horses. There’s a paint horse ranch just a five-minute walk from my house. The ranch owner used to be a champion roper. Cathy

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