If only I'd followed the advice of the crazy lady I ran into at Hollywood Park, last December, I would have made more than $2000 on the Derby even though I'd never thought twice about Mine That Bird.
She said, pick a horse you really think is going to win, bet him in an exacta with all the others as possible for place position, or coming in second. Then make a second bet with all the others to win and your horse to come in second. This bet would have cost about $80! and if the two horses that came in first and second had low odds you wouldn't even have won your bet money back. But in this case, vavavoom.
Pioneerof the Nile was an obvious choice to bet to win once I Want Revenge was out. Garrett Gomez writes a terrific move by move blog about his ride on the horse here. I even had a bet on him to win, but more on Chocolate Candy and Mr. Hot Stuff.
Our whole family watched the Derby on a big screen tv at the senior center a few hours after my father-in-law's memorial service . Drinks were complimentary and there was quite a crowd of old timers in the hall. Some of the elder gals wore big hats, and they had a form of gambling set up where you paid two dollars to draw a name from a hat. Winners got $20.
We saw Mine that Bird coming up the inside from the overhead shot but the race caller didn't seem to have that view and didn't announce him till late....
The jockey, Calvin Borel, is pretty amazing-- surprised there weren't more bets on the horse just based on the jockey choosing to ride him, though it was a late choice after Square Eddie was scratched. The day before Calvin Borel had won The Oaks race on a filly named Rachel Alexandra who's thought to be more talented than any of the horses in the Derby. Borel thinks she's the best horse he's ever ridden. She won her race by 20+ lengths!!
I Want Revenge's injury is more serious than was first thought, so it was very wise they chose not to run him-- he could have broken down during the race. Poor guy. I was heartbroken when I heard he wasn't running in the Derby.