No Place Like Home

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 7, 2009 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

Well the Calvin-express has reached the station. The ride is over for now, and I am sure that nobody is happier than he would be. The Derby, the filly, and the prediction. All three were incredible stories, and it is time to start looking down the road again.

The Kentucky Derby always seems to light up the world. The pageantry, the people, and oh, the horses……..

Calvin Borel accepted a mount to do what he does best. He rides a 1-9 the same as  a 100-1. You get the down-home country boy. He was incredible to watch in his glory. How thankful he was to all, and it was a tearful time when he looked to the sky and thanked mommy and daddy. Oh, and by the way, he won by a record 20 1/4 lengths aboard Rachel Alexandra in the Oaks.

Off to Pimlico and jumped off of the Derby winner to ride a filly…Yes, a filly. But this gal had something special, and the world now knows her name. It is etched in the history books for eternity.

Now comes the jump around and who’s going to run saga. This didn’t seem like Calvin. He was no-nonsense, and now was on the late night talk show run… He was imitating the great Joe Namath, and predicted a victory aboard the favorite. The Jets were the underdog. Only one difference. The Jets won the Superbowl…..

Big Sandy is a heartbreaker. It is the longest and widest track in the galaxy. Experience counts on this day. You need to have your wits and be ready. Borel has the talent, and nobody can squabble that. But maybe the old Woody Stevens quote applies to riders as well: “Those buildings get a little tall when you cross the Hudson.” Maybe this was a message from time.

Confidence is an admirable quality. Overconfidence is the mother of failure.  Could this have led to a defeat? Calvin didn’t have that confident look as he did in Kentucky. He didn’t ride all week.. Strange, isn’t it? This guy is the poster boy of “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

At the top of the lane, he floated Mine That Bird out for a clean sail, and looked good. But what he didn’t have locked down was how far it was to the wire. He looked like the old MTB, but forgot to save something in the tank.  Chip Wooley felt he moved a little early, and suddenly this small-time trainer from New Mexico sounded as if he had the story down cold.

All in all, Calvin Borel is good. He was back at Churchill Downs today riding all kinds of horses.  Far be it from the big city lights. I think he is back where he needs to be. Babe Ruth pointed to the center field wall, Namath predicted the win and Calvin Borel came up a bit short. Class shows in the distance, and the lights from the big city can blind you if you are not careful. Welcome back to Louisville, Calvin…..