Nice Guys Finish First

by Ed Meyer

posted on February 24, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

It was just a number of weeks ago that Winning Ponies had on one of the nicest guys on our Internet Show. According to anyone you would ask, nice guys finish last. I have always believed in this old saying until this past week.

Calvin Borel was raised in St Martin Parish, Louisiana. He was riding match races when most kids were fiddling around fishing or goofing around with other kids. Like so many Cajun riders before him, he was brought up in a tough lifestyle. At age eight, he was learning the trade that would carry him to greater heights the rest of his life.

Borel has won the Derby twice. They would be Street Sense, and Mine That Bird. Both times he was a joy to watch, as he galloped back to the winner’s circle with a tearful set of eyes. The tears were not of the moment, but he wanted his mom and dad to have been there to see him do well.  It was his brother Cecil that raised him, and kept him on the straight and narrow. The day after winning the Derby, Borel was working in his brother’s shed row cleaning up. You would have not thought he had just won the Derby the day before.

This past year, he became the first jockey to take off of his Derby winner to ride another in the Preakness. When Rachel Alexandra came storming home that Saturday afternoon, Calvin Borel looked like the only guy with the plan.

This past week, he was awarded the George Woolf Memorial Award.  This has been presented by Santa Anita since 1950. It is an award that honors one of the greatest riders of his time, and recognizes the recipient for personal character and esteem in the sport of racing. They couldn’t have picked a better person …..

A two-time Derby winner, and regular rider for Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra, he is known for his rail-skimming trips, and is nicknamed “Bo-Rail.” He will be the 61st recipient of the prestigious award. Borel has won riding titles, and been a fixture on the Kentucky racing circuit for years.

Borel has gained the respect of many during his career as a rider. His efforts have not gone unnoticed. It was just this past year, the day before the Preakness, he could be very easily found. He was not attending media parties, but instead stayed at home and cut his grass. It has been this attitude that has taken him to the heights that he has achieved. During our interview, he said all that he wanted was for mommy and daddy to have been proud of him. Well Calvin, another job well done. I am sure they have been watching over you for these many years, and proud as can be….