Horses represent grace, beauty, power and passion.
“The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” aka The Kentucky Derby, prompts both Kentuckians and non-Bluegrass Staters to put on their Sunday best (and more) and party — or be part of the 150,000-plus packing the confines of Churchill Downs. Not only those two minutes, but the two weeks leading up to those couple of minutes entail a festival in Louisville.
It’s tradition with a capital T.
If Churchill Downs president Kevin Flanery is indeed right in his declaration that “we’re going to run the Kentucky Derby in 2020,” perhaps the Run For The Roses will help change 2020 for the better on Sept. 5 (or sometime this fall).
Right now, though, “The Fastest Two Minutes” feels like “The Weirdest Two Years.”
Hindsight is indeed 20-20, but it feels like forever and a day since the controversial finish of 2019 — remember that? And it seems like an eternity to wait until September.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more peculiar than 2019’s version.
It was the 145th installment. Rain saturated the track, creating sloppy conditions. Longshot Country House (30-1 morning line odds) prevailed as a result of Maximum Security’s disqualification. The horse was judged to have swerved into the path of both War of Will and Long Range Toddy, costing them a better place.
It was unprecendented, unbelievable and most likely unmatched in terms of being the strangest race in the history of the Derby.
However, now that we look back at it, it was better than no race at all.
Is there a chance of no Kentucky Derby? We’ll know more in the coming weeks, but it’s difficult to even comprehend the thought. It’s a race run without interruption since 1875. Ulysses Grant was President of the United States. He was No. 18. We’re currently at 45.
In 1945, the last year of World War II, it was held in June instead of May. Back in 1901, the thoroughbreds competed in April.
There have been many instances over the last two months that put this coronavirus pandemic into perspective, but in terms of the sports world, running the Derby four months following its originally scheduled date — an occurrence previously unheard of throughout 145 years of tradition — takes the cake. It’s bigger than no March Madness. It’s bigger than no traditional World Series, even — let’s face it, if Major League Baseball does happen, it won’t be the same.
We need Flanery to be right. This state needs a Derby. The country needs it.
Grace, beauty, power and passion. It’ll all be on full display in September … we hope.