Monday, May 09, 2005


That wasn't a horse race, that was a one-directional melee.

20 horses beating themselves up to get to the rail and the lead -- there ought to be a law against such a large field in the Kentucky Derby. Most of those youngsters' races have been against fields of 10 or fewer. To double that number in the same amount of space has just got to fry those horses' minds. Giacomo's jockey, Mike Smith, did a phenomenal job of threading his horse through that mess to go from 18th to win. Wow. Watching the race, suddenly, at the end, Giacomo just kind of popped out, making me say, "What the hell? What the hell?" Okay, well, shout, not say.

Bellamy Road was out there at the crest of the wave, but when there got to be a few other horses beside him, he just faded away. Afleet Alex made a great effort (placed 3rd) but there just wasn't enough left to keep going. About Closing Argument, I just have no idea.

Spanish Chestnut is a sprint horse. He was entered in the Kentucky Derby not to win the race but to burn out Bellamy Road, who likes to be out in front. And burn Spanish Chestnut did, keeping the pace incredibly hot, until exhausted, he drifted back to finish 16th. What a shame his owner didn't use some better sense and keep Spanish Chestnut rested; he'd have snatched up the Preakness easily.

(The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 miles; the Preakness one mile; the Belmont Stakes is 1 1/2 miles.)

And hell, yes, horses got cut up and hurt in that stampede. That was a nasty race. Why do I watch every year? I guess I'm like a lot of people, always looking for the next Secretariat.

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