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Borel: 'We're Going to Win' Belmont Stakes
Bloodhorse ^ | June 1, 2009 | Ron Mitchell

Posted on 06/01/2009 5:16:18 PM PDT by gate2wire

An exuberant Calvin Borel expressed confidence that Mine That Bird will win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) after working the diminutive gelding a half-mile in :50 on a warm, sunny June 1 morning at Churchill Downs.

“Perfect,” said Borel, who won the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with the son of Birdstone trained by Bennie “Chip” Woolley Jr. for owners Mark Allen and Dr. Leonard Blach. “He’s ready. We’re going to win. No questions asked.”

The boast by the hard-working, likable Borel was similar to the one he made previous to winning the BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) with Rachel Alexandra, with Mine That Bird finishing second with jockey Mike Smith in the saddle. Borel was freed up to ride Mine That Bird in the Belmont after owners Jess Jackson and Harold McCormick announced May 29 that the filly would bypass the third leg of the Triple Crown. Although her next start has not been announced, Rachel Alexandra also worked at Churchill June 1, getting five furlongs in 1:01 3/5.

Churchill clockers timed Mine That Bird, who was wearing his yellow Kentucky Derby saddle cloth when he to the track following the routine maintenance break, in fractional splits of :13 4/5, :26 3/5, and :38 2/5. He galloped out five furlongs in 1:02 1/5 and was ridden out six furlongs in 1:15.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Sports
KEYWORDS: horseracing; minethatbird
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To: gate2wire

I think one of the longer-priced horses will win it wire to wire, or something like that. Am not sure of the entire field, so I don’t know who that might be. But Char-Man will be right there at the wire also.I am looking for my
Bet Twice, but admittedly there might not be one here for this Belmont. I really need to see a definitive field, and PPs.

21 posted on 06/01/2009 10:00:17 PM PDT by supremedoctrine
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To: supremedoctrine

Charitable Man should be able to set his own pace. No other speed in this race.

22 posted on 06/02/2009 12:28:52 AM PDT by gate2wire
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To: eleni121

“Borel should be savvy enogh to know that MTB is the better horse.”

LOL. He would be riding Rachel if she were running. Wonder why...

23 posted on 06/02/2009 12:34:53 AM PDT by gate2wire
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To: PGalt

Where did Ch. Candy finish in the Derby, 5th, 6th? Toss that race and you’ll see a whole lot of in the money finishes. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a piece.

24 posted on 06/02/2009 12:38:12 AM PDT by gate2wire
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To: gate2wire

He would be riding Rachel if she were running. Wonder why...

He probably had a falling out with MTB’s owners that’s why.

Too emotional ...

25 posted on 06/02/2009 4:24:06 AM PDT by eleni121 (The New Byzantium - resurrect it!)
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To: eleni121

That makes a lot of sense...

26 posted on 06/02/2009 4:26:34 AM PDT by gate2wire
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To: gate2wire
IMHO, It’s Charitable Man’s to lose.

Thanks... I've been looking for another option... he looks like a good one.

27 posted on 06/02/2009 9:56:44 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim
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To: SomeCallMeTim

Go over to Bloodhorse and watch the Peter Pan video.
He gets a perfect trip, but I like his move when Imperial Council comes to him in the stretch. He gets a little tap, and takes off. Nice.

28 posted on 06/02/2009 11:50:44 AM PDT by gate2wire
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To: gate2wire

very impressive.... thanks for the tip. I feel bad still not believing in MTB... but, I don’t. Unless the track is muddy, I think I’m going with

Charitable Man to win
Dunkirk, Choco Candy wheeled in an exacta.

29 posted on 06/03/2009 12:09:54 PM PDT by SomeCallMeTim
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To: gate2wire


I’ve been looking at the forms, and re-watching the films... I’m sorry, I don’t think I can bet on Charitable Man.. He’s not run a 100 Beyer yet. He’s just not faced this level of competition. He may do it, but... I can’t bet on him.

I’d love to have a horse other than MTB that I liked.. but, I don’t. MTB runs like no horse I ever remember seeing in the last 1/4 mile of his races. In the Preakness, he had to slow, and speed up about 4 different times... and, still he was ROLLING at the end.

I like the way Flying Private was matching his pace too... FP is a very well-bred horse that just might be ready to step up in the Belmont.

Sorry to say, I think I’ve become a believer in this little Bird. I’m going to be him to win, maybe a smaller bet on FP. Then, wheel MTB over FP, Charitable Man..

For a wild play, I might throw in Luv Guv.. I’m intriqued by 6 consecutive improved runs...

It’s hard for me to see the Bird losig this race.

30 posted on 06/05/2009 12:43:08 PM PDT by SomeCallMeTim
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To: SomeCallMeTim

Well, he ran a 100 in the Peter Pan. Anyway, he should run a comfortable pace. Has talent. FWIW.

31 posted on 06/05/2009 4:26:30 PM PDT by gate2wire
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To: Dianna
Post time is between 6:17 and 6:27 pm EST.


32 posted on 06/05/2009 4:35:25 PM PDT by spectre (Spectre's wife ) (No more Czars!)
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To: gate2wire

hmnn... the PP on NTRA website had it as a 99. But, whatever.... MTB has been running close to 120. I don’t get excited about 5-10 differences... but, 20?

On the other hand, this morning... the local news did a short video story on Charitable Man, and boy.... what a pretty horse. Definitely, more ATTRACTIVE than MTB. :-)

I’m too torn to bet anything big on this race, with the crappy odds on the horse I like. I’ll just take a shot on couple of tri’s probably...

33 posted on 06/06/2009 8:09:30 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim
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To: SomeCallMeTim

I’m not sure what figs you’re looking at. Beyer figures are: MTB’s last 2- 105, 106, CM= 100.

34 posted on 06/06/2009 10:45:50 AM PDT by gate2wire
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To: eleni121

“Too emotional ...” ~ eleni121

WSJ- Where Calvin [Borel] Learned to Ride
Louisiana’s Bush Tracks Let 8-Year-Olds Race 17 Times a Day; the End of an Era

At the bush tracks in Cajun country where Calvin Borel learned to ride horses for $4 a mount, standards weren’t much higher than the pay. Most of the tracks were dirt straightaways with no turns, and much of the liquor was homemade. To meet the requirement that every horse had to have a “live” rider, some owners would strap a rooster to the saddle.

These tracks, which once dotted the countryside from Louisiana to Oklahoma, are mostly gone now­victims of changing tastes and fears of lawsuits and the law itself.

But for a generation of American jockeys with Louisiana roots and French-sounding surnames like Desormeaux and Delahoussaye, these bush tracks represented something important­a ticket to pursue Triple Crown glory. No other region in the continental U.S. offered kids as young as 8 the opportunity to learn the balance and subtle artistry it takes to ride a reckless, 1,200-pound animal. Riding racehorses is sort of like skydiving­there’s only one way to learn how to do it.

And if you could do it on a bush tracks, sometimes with your bare feet in the stirrups, sometimes on a horse’s bare back, surely you could do it on a sanctioned track with an ambulance following behind.

At the Kentucky Derby, where Mr. Borel rode Mine That Bird to a stunning upset, he did so with a stylish and daring move that has become his signature ­squeezing through a tiny hole on the rail that only someone with years of experience would have been able to anticipate. Veteran horsemen say the end of the bush track, and rules requiring all jockeys to be at least 16, are major reasons the sport is dominated by jockeys from the Caribbean and South and Central America, where informal racing still allows children to ride.

“It’s like kids and basketball in the inner city,” said Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. “The riders from Puerto Rico and Mexico and those places, they still grow up with horses all around them.”

Even though it was 34 years ago, Mr. Borel remembers his first horse race aboard a colt named Mickey as clearly as his triumph in last month’s Kentucky Derby.. The horse dashed between the rails of a 350-yard, two-horse straightaway at a bush track in Abbeville, La., to give him his first win. He was 8 years old. “I would get me four or five dollars a mount, and we’d go 16, 17 races in a day,” Mr. Borel said. “I figured that was big money.”

This spring, Mr. Borel has become horseracing’s biggest celebrity, a 115-pound star with a barely comprehensible Cajun lilt and a chance to become the first jockey to win the three races of horse racing’s Triple Crown in the same year on two different horses. Mr. Borel won the Kentucky Derby aboard 50-1 shot Mine That Bird with the kind of rail-grazing burst that earned him the nickname “Bo-rail.” For the Preakness Stakes, he switched to a filly-for-the-ages named Rachel Alexandra and held off a charging Mine That Bird by a length at the wire.

Yet even as Mr. Borel enjoys his magical spring, he knows the Cajun pipeline is running dry without those Sunday morning match races that followed the Saturday night cockfights.

“It’s going to be real hard for them boys to come out of there without the bushes anymore,” he said.

Twenty years ago, the top-25 jockeys in the U.S. and Canada by earnings included just six Latin riders. The Cajun jockeys Kent Desormeaux , Eddie Delahoussaye , Craig Perret and Randy Romero ­all of them reared in southwestern Louisiana­held four of the top-13 spots. This year, Latin riders hold 13 of the top-25 spots on that list.

“Used to be we’d get five or six bug boys coming up from that area every year,” said Jerry Bourque , a jockeys’ agent and former bush-track operator, speaking of the teenage apprentice riders at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., a first legitimate stop in the career of most Cajun jockeys. “Now we’re lucky if we even get one.”

Three years ago, Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron opened the North American Racing Academy in Lexington, Ky., this country’s first formal jockey school, which requires a high school diploma. Mr. McCarron said good athletes can learn how to be top jockeys even if they don’t start until they are 18 years old. But he acknowledged Mssrs. Borel and Desormeaux had a significant advantage in a profession that can take more than a decade to master. “I was 28 years old by the time I was finally comfortable,” said Mr. McCarron, who grew up outside Boston.

For a half century in Cajun country, the most popular Sunday itineraries included church and the bush tracks in towns like Abbeville , Carencro , Duson , and Rayne . The tracks didn’t operate the way most people familiar with horse racing would expect. Instead of racing on ovals, horses competed mostly on straight runs 300-900 yards long with iron-rail dividers that kept the horses in their lanes.

Most races pitted two horses against each other­“match races” arranged by owners and trainers willing to put their money behind their colts and fillies. Bettors set up their own wagers or, if more than two horses were racing, bid in “Calcutta pools,” an auction for the right to bet on a certain horse.

Alice Hebert’s family operated Cajun Downs in Abbeville for more than 50 years before shutting the operation down because the local trainers weren’t arranging enough Sunday races to make it worthwhile. They charged $2 admission for men, let women and children in free, and made their money off the concessions, selling everything from boudin balls (spiced pork rolled in flour and deep-fried), chips, soft drinks and “any kind of liquor you wanted,” Ms. Hebert said. “It was a family thing, she added, “a big country kind of place.”

It was the perfect setting for kids like Mr. Borel and Robby Albarado to hone their skills. Mr. Borel said he first got on a horse when he was 2 years old. He was galloping by the time he was 5 or 6, and when he was 8, his older brother, Cecil, a trainer, decided his little brother was ready to race.

“It’s all in the hands,” Mr. Borel said. “You’ve got to be able to finesse them, because there sure ain’t no way you going to control a 1,200-pound animal.”

Hardly a star student, Mr. Borel dropped out of school after eighth grade. (“It was pretty clear I wasn’t going to be no doctor or no lawyer,” he said.)

By the time he began race-riding legally at 16 , he already had thousands of races under his belt. After years of riding with a stopwatch he had developed an internal clock in his head and could sense the difference between an eighth-of-a-mile that took 12 seconds and one that took 13.

When jockey John Velazquez hears stories about the bush tracks it reminds him of his native home in Puerto Rico, where young boys still spend afternoons and weekends racing horses through the streets, often without saddles, just as they do in the other Latin American countries. They learn the rhythm of horses, shape their leg muscles to the contours of a thoroughbred’s back, and gain the confidence to make a split-second decision at 40 mph by shifting the reins just so.

“You can’t go from nothing to the racetrack,” Mr. Velazquez said.

Each year when he visits his home, Mr. Velazquez will hear the rumble of horses barreling along the side of the road outside his car window. The noise is at once both startling and comforting. It’s what produced him. “That’s something you never see in this country,” he said.
Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page W5

35 posted on 06/06/2009 12:09:17 PM PDT by Matchett-PI ("Conservatism is about freedom, and fighting people who want to take it away." Rush Limbaugh)
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To: Matchett-PI

Well OK. Thanks.

So what else is new...?

The trainer is 90% of the race. Keep your fingers crossed that the jockey doesn’t make any mistake/s that costs the race.

36 posted on 06/06/2009 12:58:48 PM PDT by eleni121 (The New Byzantium - resurrect it!)
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To: gate2wire

I hope Mine That Bird wins!

37 posted on 06/06/2009 2:56:12 PM PDT by sheikdetailfeather (Why Is Obama Imposing Our Values On Israel?)
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To: gate2wire

Am I reading this wrong? I should have just bought a form.. :-(

But, my money is already bet. I have am $18 ten-cent superfecta that has MTB, CM, Dunkirk, and Flying Private winning.. so, I kind of hope MTB come in second or third.

But... i will pull for Calvin.

38 posted on 06/06/2009 3:16:20 PM PDT by SomeCallMeTim
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To: gate2wire

Just home on lunch break. No bets on this one. I like MTB in perfectas with everyone for $10 each though

39 posted on 06/06/2009 3:29:33 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: gate2wire

Good race. Wrong bird. Sheesh I’m glad I didn’t get to a track to bet this one. I liked MTB and Chocolate Candy.

The only triple crown race I bet, I won. Thank you Rachel.

40 posted on 06/06/2009 3:36:45 PM PDT by PGalt
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