Friday, May 6, 2011

Its Derby Weekend!

I have loved this weekend since I was little.  Its all about horses!  Its one of the few times of the year that the country comes together to watch an equine event - albeit a super controversial one in the world of horses, but an equine event all the same.  The most exciting two minutes in sports.  It always gives me chills to watch those horses run around the track - not knowing who is going to win it.  It could change at the last minute.

I'm not the biggest fan of thoroughbred racing, not at the three-year-old level anyway, which is the age of the colts and fillies in the Derby.  Most horses aren't started to ride until they are two - that means they have a year-sh of intense training to undergo before they run the Derby.  Not to mention they're probably going to run in numerous other races before the Derby.  That's just a lot of strain to put on a young horse in my opinion.  I know there are a lot of trainers out there who do it right and treat their equine athletes properly - but its those that push too hard that concern me.  But I'm not going to dwell on something I'm not an expert on.

I love the creative registered names people come up with for their horses - they're so fun; Pants on Fire, Mucho Macho Man, Derby Kitten, Twinspired - just a few of this year's horses.  A horse's registered name is rarely ever what people call the horse on a day-to-day basis.  For instance, Man'o'War was known as Big Red off the track since he was a big, red horse - creative, no?

I'm most excited this year to watch Rosie Napravnik - a 23 year-old female jockey.  She's a redhead like me!  Now that's exciting.  And I think its appropriate that the redhead is riding Pants on Fire.  Odds are 20-1 against them - but I wish the duo the best of luck.  They say she rides, races, and competes like a man.  I would love to see her win it.

I'm kind of living vicariously through her right now, haha.  My dream as a kid was to be a jockey.  I wanted to stay short so I could have a chance if I ever wanted to take it.  Its why I was always very proud to be 5'5'' while people around me who were shorter always boasted that they were 5'6'' and 5'7'', I was happy of my short stature.  Now I recognize that I probably wouldn't last a day in the high stress racing world - but hey, a girl can dream, can't she?  Rosie was riding horses at two, won a pony race at 7 and decided then and there she wanted to be a jockey.  I started riding (outside of people-led pony rides) at age 5, have never won an official race, and have dreamed of being a jockey.  So, I guess we're kind of similar.  Go, Rosie, go!  Ride like your pants are on fire...or Pants on Fire is your mount.

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