15 Minutes

by Ed Meyer

posted on May 30, 2009 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

I once read a long time ago that everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes in their life. In the world of Calvin Borel, it may have lasted a little bit longer. And boy, is it well deserved.

I have been reading some of the best writers in the game speak of the soap opera surrounding Calvin Borel and his big decision.

I agree, Calvin is no Bill Shoemaker, Braulio Baeza, or Johnny Longden. He would probably be the first to tell you that. It was from humble beginnings that this Cajun rider hailed, and he never forgot where he came from.

The day before the Preakness he was not getting his nails done or giving the media darlings a long-winded interview on how he did it. He was in Louisville cutting his grass. Some things just make more sense than others, and so do some people.

I had the opportunity to meet him years ago. He was not at the top of the standings, and that didn’t stop him from riding. He never pouted, or cried about his mounts. He rode for many including his brother. You could find him mucking stalls and wrapping legs. He was not sipping a latte and regaling us with his success. He is a blue-collar, down-home, hard working rider. He will not be quoted in the history books forever. He only stopped whooping and crying after his win in the Oaks and Derby to point to the sky and wish his mommy and daddy could have seen what he had done. You’re right big city writers, he is not New York’s finest, and there are better riders out there. But just one question: Where were they on Derby day when this Cajun rider scooted up the rail on a 50-1 shot? I guess they were worried about the press getting their good side.

So, a word of friendly advice. Get off his back, and get on his bandwagon. Think of it as being a Cubs fan. Think of it as a rookie winning the MVP. Think of it as the right thing to do. He works hard, and it seems the harder he works, the luckier he gets.

I think that we have underestimated the thoughts of Mr. Wooley. He knows that Calvin fits his horse, and has proven his efforts when everyone else doubted him. It is not too late. We can ship in some big city name, and they can climb aboard. They may win or they may lose, but the race has a special meaning by having a blue-collar rider in the spotlight. Don’t worry folks, things will get back to normal soon. Believe me, Calvin Borel would be the first to tell you. But for now, the court is his and enjoy watching a regular guy having his 15 minutes…..