Each year, I await a package in the mail. It comes from a gent who is a real racing fan. You will see him at the big events, and he even married his bride at the Breeders’ Cup. You could say he kinda enjoys the races. This labor of love has been passed from his late father Jim McCullough to his son, Kevin. It contains a history of the sheets, and a detailed analysis of every runner in the field. To be on the list is an honor, as it started in 1959 with Jim putting together a celebration of the Kentucky Derby with 12 copies for his closest race loving friends. Each year he honors his Father by keeping the tradition alive. The sheet has grown a little bit from the 12 copies Jim turned out, to the 300 copies that his son has compiled. This “Unofficial Kentucky Derby Program” is more than just talk about who will win the big dance. It is a devoted son letting Dad know he is always thinking of him.
I love to read the past year stories of bad beats, big wins, and the one that got away. It always includes his past wagers, and how he did in the previous Derby. The comments and data are second to none, and all that you have to do is wait for the mailman. You will be kept on the list for life unless you contact him in writing to be taken off. I couldn’t tell you if anyone has ever done so, but it would be hard to believe that any fan would not enjoy his handiwork.
Dosage, graded earnings, comments, and a little bragging make this my favorite part of the week. I have to admit that I use much of his material to closely examine the runners, and get a colorful view of the contenders. As I rush to the end, I want to see who my friend is going to play this year. His nomination for a winner’s circle photo is Alpha. Kevin feels he is most suited for a mile and a quarter. Tongue-in-cheek, he said that he will be scratched, injured, or draw the #1 post position. But now, it is time to kick back and enjoy a mint julep, and watch one of the greatest traditions in America. The detailed work that keeps him away from his beautiful family for hours is not an issue with this handicapper. It brings back wonderful memories of his Dad, and of how excited he would get this time of year. So, thank you Jim for creating this opus for handicappers, and thank you Kevin for keeping the flame. I will always be looking for my “Green Sheet” for years to come, and I wish you and yours a Happy Derby Day!