2012 Kentucky Derby

May 8, 2012

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LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 05:  Mario Gutierrez (L) ...

Photo: I'll Have Another (purple) down the stretch.

The first Saturday in May is always one of my favorite days. It is another large sporting event that brings the casual fan to watch a sport that they otherwise would not normally follow. There are events such as the Daytona 500, The Masters, The Super Bowl, and of course…..

The Kentucky Derby.

The Run for the Roses…I always thought this, and not the Rose Bowl, should be called the Granddaddy of them all.   After all…this has been around a LOT longer than the Rose Bowl game.

Breaking from the #19 post position a horse named I’ll Have Another was the winner, making a game move down the stretch to win the Derby. It went off at 16-1 which allowed for a nice pay-day for the Goodman household as BOTH Mr. and Mrs. Goodman had winning tickets.

I enjoy horse racing, but would not consider myself a “gambler” per se. I like playing poker with the guys on occasion, and will attend some of the live racing meets here in Lincoln. I am not a big wager type of guy. $10 on a race is a large bet for me. Normally it is the standard $2 to win-place–show on a horse.

Yum! Brands who sponsors the Triple Crown holds a contents where the winner that is selected gets $100,000 to drop on one bet – one horse – one chance to win for the Kentucky Derby. This year the guy who got to place the “mystery bet” put his $100K on #11 – a longshot by the name of Alpha.

At the time the bet was placed the horse – had it won the Kentucky Derby, would have paid back an amazing $2 million on that $100,000 wager.

The real comment of the day is when the individual was asked by an NBC reporter, would the lucky contestant like to make the wager or would they rather just take the hundred grand and walk away. Without hesitation the guy responded “I am a horse player “ and indicated he was going for the big pay day and not the “small potatoes of the hundred large.

I can tell you if that was offered to me, I would walk with the hundred thousand without blinking an eye. Guess my risk appetite is a LOT lower than most people at the horse track.

Another interesting tidbit from my gambling experience this weekend. As you can expect, at the simulcasting place in Lincoln, the patron traffic was teaming on Saturday. There was a HUGE crowd watching the races some even all dressed up in their faux Kentucky Derby at the Lincoln Race Course experience. The parking lot was packed and fortunately my father and I basically just went and placed our bets and then took off to do some further work for the day.

When I came back on Sunday afternoon to cash the winning tickets, the place was deserted, you wondered if it was even open…there were about 50 cars in the parking lot, and I am guessing some of those were for the people working there as well.

Needless to say I got in and out of the place much more quickly than I did the day before…and left with a lot more money than I came with.

I am sure the same cannot be said for most everyone else on Saturday.

Murder at the Track

Death is no stranger to the racing crowd, even around an event like The Kentucky Derby.  In 2008, Derby runner-up Eight Belles was put down on the track.

The past two years, however, have seen human death case a cloud over Churchill Downs.  Last year, jockey Michael Baze was found dead in his vehicle three days after the Derby.  The cause of death was accidental painkiller overdose.

This year, 48 year old Adan Fabian Perez was murdered in a barn on the premises of the track (more than 200 people live on the grounds full-time).  There hasn’t been much released about the murder of the horse groom, although there was some arguments in the vicinity on Saturday night.  Perhaps soon we’ll know who killed Perez, and why.

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