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The Derbys

The Kentucky Derby is a collateral descendant of The Derby, first run in 1780. (Those of you with an interest in family trees will know what I mean by collateral.)

Luckily for both races, the original Derby was not called the Bunbury -

The name Derby originated following the first running of the Epsom Oaks in 1779, a springtime test for the fastest three-year-old thoroughbreds in England. Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby (whose horse Bridget had been victorious in the race) and Sir Charles Bunbury flipped a coin and whoever won the toss was to have the race named after him. (Wiki)

At Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Calvin Borel rode Mine that Bird to a flying victory on the Churchill Downs, coming from the back of the field to win by an ecstatic 6 and 3/4 lengths. The jockey, who is known for his tireless work ethic, has been racing since he was eight and has had 4,500 career wins, including a previous Derby, so his success was not unprecedented. However, Mine that Bird which ran at odds of 50 to 1, had received dreadful put-downs from everyone but his jockey, his current owners and his Canadian breeder and owner.

The British connection in this post is as slender as the reins held by a jockey. Never mind, here's a video of the race. The aerial view, which shows you Mine that Bird streaming like a comet along the rail, appears toward the end.

The horse they called ugly. The horse they said couldn't run. What a wonderful horse!

The Derby is Saturday, June 6th.

Comments (1)

j hodge:

Thanks for the replay and the history. I can't quite imagine watching the Kentucky Bunbury.

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