Sunday, May 6, 2007

Derby Results

It's a good thing I didn't have time to figure out online betting yesterday (although I'd probably have bet no more than $5 anyway), but even though none of my picks so much as placed, I liked Street Sense's major come-from-behind win so much that I didn't care.

For the record, my picks were Circular Quay for the win, Any Given Saturday for the place, and Dominican for the show. I didn't have time to really think about them, so I based my choices on a mixture of past performance (I thought it a good omen that Circular Quay had not been over-raced), relatively non-annoying names, and I confess that NBC's spot on the Dominican nuns in Kentucky influenced my choice for 3rd. Sad but true--but I did want to see a handful of elderly nuns celebrating their namesake. (Why are nuns cute to us non-Catholics? And why is it sweet that the oldest-looking of them said that maybe if the horse won, they'd get new converts...uh.... But anyway.)

NBC's coverage was irritatingly people-focused, I found--much more so than it was when I was a teenager, when they'd focus on the horses more than on the owners, trainers, jockeys, etc. The coverage used to tell some of those stories, but with plenty of horse stuff as well, and I found it difficult to decide which horse to back without watching them move, win previous races, etc. Perhaps if I'd had more time to devote to watching ESPN or something....

Another complaint about the televised coverage is that in this day of superior technology, the picture quality--especially the long views of the track--was problematic. Grainy, prone to digital mangling, etc. At times, it looked like the footage quality of Secretariat's wins in 1973! It seems to me we didn't have this problem a decade ago, so I hope they get it worked out soon. I probably won't get to watch the Preakness and Belmont Stakes this year because I'll be in Ireland, but still.

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