Well, there goes that grand plan. Apparently, My Friend Flicka isnt running the Kentucky Derby this year.
Ive been all up and down this entry list, see, and MFF is nowhere to be found. Ditto Seabiscuit. Ditto Trigger, Francis the Talking Mule or Mister Ed.
(Although I once had a couple of extended conversations with his smart-aleck son, Mister Ted, who wised off one too many times and wound up holding together some second-graders art project. If you know what I mean).
So who does that leave?
Im no horse guy – I used to think breezing a mount meant you stood him in front of a fan for a few hours – but everyone seems to like Orb, the 7-2 favorite who apparently had a couple of workouts this week that were jet-propelled. And then theres Verrazano, whos won four times this year, including the Wood Memorial, and has the same name as both an Italian explorer and a gorgeous winery I once visited in Tuscany.
So hes got that going for him.
I wouldnt pick either of those horses, however.
Thats because the favorites hardly ever win the Derby; only three times since 2000 and five times since 1979 has the betting favorite carried off the roses. Usually its some whos-that like Mine That Bird (a 50-1 shot in 2009) or Giacomo (same odds in 2005), or your occasional Funny Cide or Ill Have Another, your 2012 winner at 15-1.
(You can look all that up, by the way. I had to.)
Anyway, you can have your Orb and your Verrazano. Ill keep looking.
I kind of like Goldencents, mainly because if he wins itll make history. A Virgin Islander named Kevin Kriggers the jockey, and if Goldencents wins Krigger will become the first African-American to win the Derby in 111 years. That was a long time ago, even by the Derbys 139-year standards.
Or you could go with Revolutionary, if only because Calvin Borels the jockey, and Calvin Borel winning is more fun than puppies on Red Bull. The guys just, you know, excitable. And his knack for finding a hole along the rail will serve him well aboard Revolutionary, an apparently notorious slow starter.
Or you could go with another one of Todd Pletchers 150 entries (or so it seems), like, say Palace Malice. Mike Smiths the jockey. Hes a former Derby winner, and hes in the Hall of Fame. Cant go wrong there.
Theres a lot of others here – Will Take Charge, D. Wayne Lukas horse, and Vyjack, and two horses (Fear The Kitten and Charming Kitten) with kitten in their names. Theres a horse named Normandy Invasion and another horse named, ominously, Itsmyluckyday.
Im not taking any of those.
Im taking Frac Daddy.
Yeah, hes a 50-1 shot, like thats ever stopped a Derby winner before. But his backstory is pure gold: The owners are two racing wannabes named Carter Stewart and Ken Schlenker, a couple of oil guys from Billings, Mont. Their previous horses ran on a track in Montana that no longer exists. Now theyre in the Derby.
Gotta love that.
And so, heres my two bucks, boys.
Yeah, thats right. Im going all in.