Charlie Buttrey

May 8, 2022

Perhaps Roger Kahn put it best: “Horse racing is animated roulette.”

Nowhere was that more apparent than in yesterday’s running of the Kentucky Derby, when 80-1 shot Rich Strike — the longest shot on the board — swept past the field in the stretch to win the coveted blanket of roses.  His trainer insisted afterward that he would never enter a horse in a race he didn’t think the horse could win and then, moments later, called the victory a “miracle.”

Ever since I started playing the ponies in high school, I have joked that the problem with the Daily Racing Form — which teems with data about every horse in every race from just about every angle — is that it only tells us what happened in the PAST; it doesn’t tell us what will happen in the future.

And re-reading the Form, I can find absolutely no reason why anyone would have put any money on Rich Strike, who had won one race in its career — a maiden claiming race seven months ago — and whose fastest race put him well in the back of the pack.

It’s a tough game.

As W. C. Fields is reputed to have said, “Horse sense is a thing that a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.”

© 2020 Charlie Buttrey Law by Nomad Communications