Friday, May 5, 2017

Everything you should know about the Derby*

*Or not.

Or not, because this is the part where the Blob empties the notebook about the Kentucky Derby. The notebook consists of one page. It's blank except for a crude drawing of a horse (with an arrow and the helpful description "Horse!"), a cruder drawing of the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs (with an arrow and "Look! Two of 'em!") and an even cruder drawing of a Kentucky Colonel passed out under a tree (with an arrow and "Look! Mint julep coma!").

In other words, the Blob knows next to nothing about the Kentucky Derby, except that it's one of its favorite events. As I've said numerous times, I love everything about the Derby except the mint juleps, the worst mixed drink ever foisted upon civilized man. I just don't know anything about it.

And so, without further ado (and without the talking horse I once inadvisably employed in a couple forgettable Derby columns), here is the 2017 edition of the Blob's Kentucky Derby Intel From Someone Who Has No Intel:

1. That Fast and Accurate sure is a fine piece of horseflesh.

Actually this is not true.

Actually, Fast and Accurate apparently should have been named Alpo On The Hoof, because he's a complete mutt. He's gray, for one thing. Gray horses are frequently mutts. He's also so little regarded even his handlers/owners reportedly think has no shot.

One of his owners, by the way, is former competitive skier/juvenile delinquent Bode Miller. I don't know why that's worth mentioning. I just thought it was kinda interesting.

2. Speaking of juvenile delinquents ... Hey, look! It's Classic Empire!

Who is the favorite, and not gray, and has all the requisite horse parts (four legs, mane, tail, whatever a fetlock is). He's also apparently flakier than a breakfast croissant.

If he decides he wants to run, he'll win going away. If he decides, as he sometimes does, that, Yeah, I ain't feelin' it today, he'll just sort of lope around and screw up a bunch of people's exactas.

He's also starting from the 14th gate, a post position that hasn't produced a Derby winner since Carry Back in 1961. And so you can imagine how the conversation might go as they're loading them into the gate:

CLASSIC EMPIRE: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Nobody told me I was starting from the 14 hole.

JOCKEY: Forget that, big boy. Let's do this.

CLASSIC EMPIRE:  Seriously? Come on. No one's won from there since '61. The Twin Spires were just spirelings then. The Kentucky Colonels were still corporals. Nah, no soap.

JOCKEY: Please ...

CLASSIC EMPIRE: Nope. Uh-uh. Now go get me a mint julep.

3. Hey, look! It's a one-eyed horse!

Really. His name is Patch and he starts from the 20 hole, so far away from the rail he might as well be in Indiana. He's a 30-1 shot. I'd drop several large on him if I were you.

4. Speaking of dropping several large ... here's Sonneteer!

Who's a 50-1 shot. And who's 0-for-10 lifetime. The last horse to win his first race in the Derby was Broker's Tip back in 1933.

But go ahead. Get thee to the betting window. This could be his day.

5. You can't go wrong with a horse named Battle of Midway.

Actually, you probably can. Battle of Midway was 30-1 as of today. He never raced as a 2-year-old. The last horse to win the Derby who didn't race as a 2-year-old was Apollo in 1882.

It was a different time then. No one had ever heard of Candy Crush, and you couldn't get decent sushi anywhere.

But, again, go ahead. Drop a roll of fifties. Admiral Halsey will thank you.

So there you have it. You are as fully up to speed as the Blob can make you, provided the speed is 15 mph. Heck, I'll even throw in a long-shot pick you might consider if you're considering long-shot picks.

Write this down: Gunnevera.

He's not gray. He's got all the requisite horse parts, just like Classic Empire. He's also got a trainer, Antonio Sano, who was kidnapped twice in his native Venezuela a few years back before wisely deciding to leave the country.

How cool would it be for Sano to wind up in the winner's circle tomorrow? It would almost be as cool as American Pharoah winning again.

Which, you know, can't happen. But still.

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