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If you had anything – even a 50-cent party bet – on Mind That Bird in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, you merit our most humble congratulations.
Yes, we know some of you did. You had to pick the name, the odds or simply the open spot on someone’s board and go for the long shot. And we hope you cashed a check greater than the colt’s $9,500 purchase price.
Mine That Bird’s stunning sprint down the rail on Saturday was a remarkable run by a horse with an unremarkable resume, or at least the sort of resumes that humans tend to author and support.
But it was remarkable not in that it was so against the odds set by the bettors but that it was so simple and easy, like an overaggressive driver cutting down the emergency lane to get past backed up traffic on the interstate. The other horses seemed to be creeping along.
And in winning, the horse was a Seabiscuit-esque example of why this sport is so wonderful for so many. Its entirety is based on a history of hunches, and its surprises can make so many smile. Think of the new generation of kids who now can say, “Remember Mine That Bird?”
Yes, we congratulate Mind That Bird, his owners, his trainers and his wonderfully demonstrative jockey, who seemed right out of central casting.
Which seems appropriate, because fairly soon, we guess, the role of Calvin Borel will require someone right out of central casting.