Today was opening day at Churchill Downs. It was raining, and the track was sloppy as 2010 kicked off. As Turfway is the night racing track, and Keeneland is the pristine jewel of the Bluegrass, Churchill is the blue collar place that transforms the game into where history is made, and legends are written.
I won’t call it history, but it happened again. I watched Calvin Borel win the opening day race with ease. He held the rail all the way down the lane, and cruised home like a big dog. He liked it so much, that he did it four other times for a total of five wins on opening day.
Many trainers look for the big names on this Derby day. I can’t blame them as these guys and gals make few mistakes, and their numbers speak for themselves. If I were an owner, I would look as well. I have even had friends who were riders who got ditched or dumped for the big names.
I like to do a top ten or so horses to watch for our website at work. It is fun, and it keeps people informed. I like to keep up with the action so you don’t have to spend hours reading.
In one of my editions leading up, I only put down nine selections to watch. Number 10 was easy. Whoever Calvin Borel rides……
If you are a trainer who is looking, then look no further. He is the man, and his ability is great. His heart is genuine, and you can find him working his brother Cecil’s shed row in the morning. Calvin has not forgotten his roots. He is a blue-collar hero….
We were lucky enough to have him on as a guest a week before he received the prestigious George Woolf award. He was great. His thick Cajun drawl, and the way he said “I have gone from the shit house to the White House” will always stick in my mind. He is genuine. They broke the mold because if we had two Calvin’s who would win any other races?
He looked to the sky in his last Derby victory crying to the heavens just wishing his mommy and daddy could see him. Don’t worry Calvin, they did….. The way he threw the rose into the air in the winners’ circle as a gift for his mother. He is a jewel.
So, if you are looking, I would go with Calvin. He has won on Street Sense in 2007, and Mine That Bird in 2009. He rides a 1-9 shot and a 99-1 the same. He owns Churchill, and if he doesn’t have a mount in the Derby, he will win at least two on the under-card. Just look for Calvin… He will be the rider smiling with no dentures in, and happy to be there.