Confession: I’m not actually that disinterested in horse-racing. As I’ve said before, my dad played the ponies, and many a Sunday of my childhood was spent at the track. Being a daddy’s girl, I know what “win, place, show,” “perfecta, “exacta,” “trifecta,” and “superfecta” mean and I have a pretty good eye for picking a winning horse. But I’m relatively sure that not every girl’s dad was a degenerate gambler, so therefore, here are some tips for how a girl who is relatively disinterested can place a bet on the race while wearing a large hat and sipping a mint julep at the theme party her friend Cassie is throwing.
Much like in dating, pedigree is important. So who has the best pedigree heading into the Derby? Both Mohaymen and SuddenBreakingNews come from the same stock as Seattle Slew, the only undefeated Triple Crown winner in history. Majesto is a half-brother to 2013 Arkansas Derby winner Overanalyze, who was 11th that year in the Kentucky Derby. Of course, in the words of the great Jon Bon Jovi, “Passion, not pedigree, will in in the end.” But still…it’s not a bad idea to bet on someone who’s family has been to this rodeo before.
To me, all horses are beautiful…but all jockeys are not. Of course, jockeys tend to be short in stature, but that’s something I can live with. In fact, I’ll take any excuse I can to never wear heels again. So who are the cutes jockeys riding the ponies this Saturday? Well, in my book: Aaron Gryder (on Trojan Nation), Javier Castellano (on Destin), and Joel Rosario (on Shagaf).
What’s in a name? Well, everything. Obviously, a horse with a grandiose name like Majesto or Gun Runner is going to do better than one with a so-so name like Lani or Whitmore. There are a few other ways to pick here, too: if you’re a fan of name Tom, you can go with either Mo Tom or Tom’s Ready (both owned by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who clearly has no ego problem.) If you’re a fan of USC, Trojan Nation is the horse for you. Like movies? Go with Oscar Nominated (although note it’s not Oscar Winner…) As for me, if I go by names, I’m picking My Man Sam (I have a nephew named Sam) and Danzing Candy, because who doesn’t like candy?
Fun fact for the uninitiated: The colors the jockeys wear are called silks, and some of them are simply hideous color combinations. Such as the white/yellow/blue checked mess that Laoban’s rider will be wearing. Sorry, that’s so offensive, I can’t pick you. Same goes for the puke green/brown combo that Destin is rocking, and beige/green chevron of Mor Spirit’s rider. But I’m 100% on board with Creator’s white and green star ensemble or Nyquist’s simple purple and white design.
My 1-2-3 (AKA trifecta) pick: My Man Sam (there’s just something about the name), Trojan Nation (yum-yum-yummy jockey), and Nyquist (purple and white are the colors of royalty – and winners). We’ll see on Saturday how I do. .