I pay absolutely no attention to the sport of horse racing unless a horse is going for the Triple Crown or it’s that special day of the year when the first leg of the aforementioned crown is taking place–Kentucky Derby day. And outside of an annual Major League Baseball pool where a small group of us from around the country pick our projected final standings at the beginning of the year, I rarely gamble as well (not even the NCAA tournament!). But it just so happens that friends in my neighborhood have Kentucky roots and every year they host a party on Derby day, complete with Mint Juleps (of course), a delicious, authentic stew/soup called Burgoo, and Derby Pie (yummy pecan made with chocolate and whisky I think).
The host always waits until about an hour before post time before heading up to the Orlando Jai Alai to place everyone’s Derby bets at the party. This year, with favorite I WANT REVENGE scratching due to injury and the conditions of a wet and muddy track after considerable rain, my girlfriend Jackie and I decided on trying a new strategy. With 10 of the remaining horses still considered the longest of long shots at between 30 – 1 and 50 – 1odds, we figured we’d cover our bases and put a $2 bet on all of them to win–this way, if any one of them pulled the upset, we’d be sitting pretty. And wouldn’t you know: a horse called Mine That Bird ran one of the most spectacular races ever, flying past everyone against the rail late with a burst of speed that looked like special effects or that jockey Calvin Borel had a jet pack on or something. Turned out that Mine That Bird was the longest shot to win the Derby since 1913, and it was the second biggest upset in Kentucky Derby history. The win paid $103.20 for a $2 bet. I love this sport!