May 12, 2009

I Report and Decide

About this, all I have to say is, "Whatevs." I mean, it's Fox Sports, so I shouldn't even spend one iota of my time on this, but....sigh, I will.

Please, dude. No one cares that Borel is going to turn down the ride on Mine That Bird for the opportunity to ride Rachel Alexandra. And, as I apparently speak for everyone now, if you do care, then that's just kinda dumb. I would do the same thing if I were in Calvin's shoes. So would, I guarantee, anyone. She's the better horse and he obviously has a connection to her (yes, this is just a guess, but I stick by it).

But the most aggravating thing this dude writes is, "He has given the back of his hand to the horse that gave him the greatest ride of his life, the horse that engraved his name in turf history, the horse that put $140,000 cash in his bank account for 10 minutes of work. [...] Does anyone think Leno flew Borel to the West Coast because he won the Kentucky Oaks on Rachel a day before the Derby? Not a chance. He put Borel on that plane for only one reason -- Birdie's blockbuster Derby win that thrilled the world. Now Borel is going to bask in TV glory at the very moment he is kissing Birdie off as a second-rate ride in the Preakness."

Hold. Up. That is a horribly, horribly ignorant thing to say about Calvin Borel. He deserves much better. I should not have to remind any sports writer that Calvin already won the Derby once before -- 2007's Kentucky Derby with Street Sense. And as wikipedia states, "On July 5 2007 Borel became the sixth jockey in the history of Churchill Downs to win six races on a single race card. With his victory in the July 5, 2008 Bashford Manor Stakes, Calvin Borel became the thirty-fourth jockey in North American Thoroughbred racing history to win 4,500 races." And he is the 2nd jockey since Jerry Bailey to win the Oaks and the Derby in the same year. He deserves nothing but the utmost respect (and Hall of Fame honors, stat).

In my eyes, he can damn well ride whichever horse he wants to. Switching mounts is not 'devaluing' the horse that won the Kentucky Derby. Mine That Bird was the best horse on Derby day 2009. That doesn't mean he is the horse that Calvin Borel thinks is the best overall. And it should not be viewed as desertion. Borel was not the only key to victory that day. Mine That Bird either has it in him to win the Triple Crown or he does not. His jockey is a factor, but not the only one.

In all seriousness, if you had the chance to ride a good horse that has a chance to do well or a great horse who could bomb spectacularly, which would you choose? I know I would rather fail on a great horse than win on a good one. But maybe I'm just corny that way.

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