At least eight horses don’t belong in this 135th Run for the Roses – Mr. Hot Stuff, Mine That Bird, Join In The Dance, Atomic Rain, Summer Bird, Nowhere To Hide, Desert Party and Flying Private. Don’t look for a winner to come from the far outside as those last four reside in gates 16 through 20.
Typically the Derby winner will have won his/her final prep before heading to Louisville. Not only did this group not do that, five of them (Mr. Hot Stuff, Atomic Rain, Summer Bird, Nowhere to Hide and Flying Private) are still eligible for “non-winners other than.”
For those of you who don’t spend your time with your noses buried in the Daily Racing Form that means they have only won one race against “maidens” (other horses that haven’t won a race either), so they are eligible for any other race for winners.
In horse racing, maiden races are “baby steps.” Allowance races for horses that have “broken their maiden” (won a race) are the equivalent of walking. The Kentucky Derby is the 1500 meters at the Olympics.
Mine That Bird (pictured) gets our boot based on the fact that he lost back-to-back races in New Mexico which is not exactly a Kentucky Derby proving ground. Historically speaking, that is…
Join In The Dance has won one race at 5 ½ furlongs and Desert Party is winless beyond the distance of one miles (the Derby is one and one-quarter miles). Also, Desert Play is owned by the ruler of Dubai – Sheik Maktoum – who has won almost every important horse race in the world, but has never so much as hit the board in the Derby. While there is a first time for everything, this isn’t the time.
Those eight nice colts should stay in their stalls where they belong on Saturday afternoon and let the others sort this one out.