Bam-like colt wins; Hill-like filly loses


Obama-like horse wins Kentucky race;
Clinton’s own bet loses, gets injected


ROSE RACERS. Kent Desormeaux (jockey No. 20, red) rides Big Brown
past Gabriel Saez (jockey No. 5, green) riding Eight Belles to win the
134th Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Morry Gash/AP

Coincidences … ironies noted
in Kentucky derby, Guam race

Filipinos for Obama Movement
Sunday, May 4, 2008
IT WAS an interesting weekend, with a derby of 19 colts, or young male horses, and a lone filly, a young female horse, in midwestern Kentucky, a high-profile gathering peppered with the rich and powerful mingling with the political horse traders and electoral fund raisers.
Thousands of miles away from the mainland United States, humble islanders in exotic Guam were in another kind of race – the Democratic presidential primary in the Pacific island.
Barack Obama won by a razor-thin margin, a whisker of seven votes, or 50.1 percent, as against Hillary Clinton, with 49.9 percent, among all votes cast totalling more than 4,500. The last time they had a primary in the island, there were only around 1,500 voters.
Hillary’s daughter Chelsea Clinton was in the horse derby in Louisville, Ky. betting on the lone filly, named Eight Belles, after her mother specifically instructed her to do so. In the history of the derby, less than four fillies have won, and the last time a young female horse won such race was way back in 1999.
But a couple of days before the derby, the filly’s trainer even boasted that this was the year of the girls, saying she had even gotten the endorsement of the first potential female U.S. president. If the beautiful Eight Belles could only talk, according to her horse trainer, she would proclaim that she’d win this race just as Hillary would win the election after the horse herself would endorse her.
Tragedy however struck at the Kentucky Derby, when she did not only finish second to the crowd favorite in the Churchill Downs track, a big brown colt appropriately named Big Brown – who has been likened to Obama, the Democratic frontrunner.
Eight Belles fell, with both her front ankles broken – and she had to die by mercy killing to spare her the terrible ordeal as she could not be saved.
Dr. Larry Bramlage, the derby’s on-call veterinarian, said the filly’s injuries were too severe to even attempt to move her off the track. “She didn’t have a front leg to stand on to be splinted and hauled off in the ambulance, so she was euthanized,” Dr. Bramlage said.
Her trainer, Larry Jones, paid tribute to his fallen filly. “She ran the race of her life,” Jones said, as he defended having her run against 19 colts in the race.
She had been attempting to become the fourth filly to win the Kentucky Derby, and her owners had even chosen to keep her out of Kentucky Oaks on Friday, a day earlier, so she could run with the boys in the derby.
After the winner Big Brown, the other colts were ranked in the race to the finish as: Denis of Cork, Tale of Ekati, Recapturetheglory, Colonel John, Anak Nakal, Pyro, Cowboy Cal, Z Fortune, Smooth Air, Visionaire, Court Vision, Z Humor, Cool Coal Man, Bob Black Jack, Gayego, Big Truck, Adriano, and Monba.
Obama had announced his preference for Colonel John and Pyro, but the derby crowd could not help but compare his looks and his possible nomination and electoral victory to none other than the champ of the track, Big Brown.
The colt, however, did everything his owner said he would do as the 2-1 favorite – an explosive finishing kick put away his 18 masculine rivals and one lonely damsel for his fourth consecutive victory, becoming the seventh undefeated Kentucky Derby winner. The last one was the colt named Barbaro in 2006.
Memories of Barbaro came flooding back on Derby Day last Saturday, when in the 2006 Preakness the colt shattered his right rear leg just after the start. The colt was euthanized months later, after developing laminitis from the catastrophic injuries.
And in two weeks, Big Brown will race in the 2008 Preakness as the only three-year-old with a chance to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978. The colt also became the first Derby winner since Regret in 1915 to have raced only three times previously, and he is only the third in 60 years to win after racing in just two Derby preps – Sunny’s Halo in 1983 and Street Sense in 2007.
In addition, Big Brown became the second winner to start from the No. 20 post. In 1929 it was a victory for Clyde Van Dusen, a gelding (or an older male neutered or castrated horse, as opposed to a stallion, or an older male uncastrated horse).
Desormeaux won the Derby for the third time, having won aboard Real Quiet in 1998 and Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000. Only three other riders have won more – Eddie Arcaro, Bill Hartack, and Bill Shoemaker.
Big Brown was also the third favorite to win in the past five years. Smarty Jones won in 2004 and Street Sense won last year.

RIDER OF THE ROSES. Champ jock Kent Desormeaux rides champion charger Big Brown to victory in the 134th Kentucky Derby on Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Amy Sancetta/AP



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