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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

"I felt I had a bomb under me": Street Sense Wins the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby — The Oscars of horseracing.

20 stunning, powerful horses roaring out of the gate toward the finish line. The Queen of England in the stands, along with 156,635 screaming commoners. The race favorite, Street Sense, is all the way in the back in the 19th position, while the runner-up favorite, Hard Spun, is holding a strong lead far ahead.

Is something wrong with Street Sense? What happened? Finally, in the last 1/8 mile, the announcer is shouting: "Here come's Street Sense!" And come he did. From 19th to third, second, neck and neck with Hard Spun for an instant, then thundering past at an unbelievable speed. Jockey Calvin Borel began waving his whip around before he even crossed the finish line, while Street Sense barrelled on. We were screaming our heads off, along with the people in the stands and the announcers. Street Sense had done it!

The Jockey was simultaneously weeping and whooping, waving his helmet in the air, standing high in the stirrups, while Street Sense looked as if he thought, "I knew I was going to win, what's the big deal?"  One of the announcers asked Borel, "When you came around, did it feel like you had a lot of horse under you?"  Borel answered,
"I felt like I had a bomb under me!"*

It was amazing. All hope seemed lost and then, out of nowhere, flies Street Sense like a rider in the sky — from the aerial playback, you would swear while all the rest were horses, he was a different animal!  He won by 2.5 horse lengths.

Street Sense's victory at the Kentucky Derby breaks "the 23-year jinx."  In 23 years, no horse who just won the Breeder's Cup in Santa Anita has followed that victory up with the Derby crown. What's more, he was the first 2 yr-old champion horse to win since 1979.

It was an awe-inspiring race. What noble creatures! Congratulations, Street Sense!

* Citing from memory, most likely not entirely verbatim.

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Blogger Acre said...

You can't ask for more than a jockey who weeps and thanks his dead parents and a horse that prances around like he knows he just did the best thing in the world. I cried like a baby. But it's not a good Derby if I don't cry.

May 06, 2007 12:45 AM  
Blogger Anniina said...

I know! His story made me think of the jockey's story in 'Sea Biscuit' for some reason.

I also cried for Hard Spun a little, because he must have thought he had it, and been disappointed.

May 06, 2007 10:49 AM  

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