Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A view from AMERICA....

New friend and USA Racing enthusiast VIC ZAST will be posting some features and pieces of interest concerning American Racing and today we kick off with a few words regarding the Kentucky Derby which was won by the brilliant ORB...#

Right Colors After All
By Vic Zast
© May 8, 2013

(CHICAGO, IL, USA – May 8, 2013) At mid-morning on the first Saturday in May, a smattering of turf writers looked up from their work stations in the Churchill Downs media center to see a horse bolt from the outside to the front of a crowded field in a televised race.
The sound on the TV sets was turned off, but those in the know knew the race was from some other racecourse.
The scene on the screens was green, strange in the way that the pack of runners parted on the straight, and the direction they ran went from right to left as you watched instead of from left to right.
If the racecourse was Newmarket and if this was the 2000 Guineas, the silks on the horse in the lead were all wrong, at least wrong in what the turf writers expected when they interrupted their writing to see.
But had one of them let his eyes wander, he might have missed that in the blink of a few seconds the horse that was on top was no longer leading.
The Royal Blue silks of Godolphin on the horse that came down the center of the track left no doubt that the world was in proper order again.
The unbeaten Dawn Approach had made the lead and was about to win drawing away. One writer asked in a tweet, “Does British horse racing have another Camelot, Frankel and Sea the Stars?”
Another three-year-old colt in the wrong silks was seen dashing to the finishing post first as England prepared to sleep. The public had made Orb, a well-muscled son of Malibu Moon by A.P. Indy, the Kentucky Derby favorite.
Orb’s rider had worn the cherry red and white silks of Stuart S. Janney III in his races leading up to the Derby. Yet the Daily Racing Form had listed the Phipps Stable’s black silks with cherry red cap as Orb’s colors. It was black silks with a cherry red cap that some turf writers had searched for as the field swept through the turn and on towards the quarter pole where the results of this race are often determined.
“I still think that my silks are easier to see,” co-owner Ogden “Dinny” Phipps, Janney’s cousin, said jokingly at the post-race interview, as if not completely bought in on the mud-splattered silks of the two owners’ jockey, Joel Rosario.
Neither the 27-year-old Rosario, nor Janney and Phipps – senior members of one of the country’s most accomplished horse racing families - had stood in this spot before. The matter of which silks were worn might have meant something more than met the ear.
There were a dozen good stories to write had a dozen different horses won. But the story of this May’s Kentucky Derby is about men who have received just desserts after spending a lifetime of giving to their sport, not a female or African-American rider or a basketball coach who had recently won the National Collegiate Championship or a 71-year-old trainer who had won four Kentucky Derbies before.
Nothing will change for the Preakness. Not the colors, not the jockey, nor the outcome.
A little more than a week from now, Rosario will mount the Kentucky Derby winner and guide Orb to another Classic victory, his second in a burgeoning career.
It will be the first time for Janney’s or Phipps’s silks, whichever are worn by Rosario, to appear in the Preakness winner’s circle at Pimlico.

Vic Zast is a contributing writer to The Blood-Horse and the author of The History and Art of 25 Travers.

Thank you Vic and look forward to reading more musings.


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