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.
Suddenly, 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.)
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!