The victory of California Chrome and the magic of the Derby | | Horse Topics |
LOUISVILLE -- This is what a horse can do on the first Saturday in May: He can make three grown men dance under a setting sun on a famous racetrack, spinning little circles in the dust, tears rolling down their cheeks. He can make a 77-year-old trainer think about dear friends who passed away long ago and embrace the improbable gift of such a success so late in life. He can make an injured jockey, his body and brain still bruised from a terrible spill, climb on a same-day flight to see his little brother ride in and win the most important horse race in the world; and then he can make that little brother cry just thinking about those less fortunate than he is. He can make two rookie owners -- one a loquacious cowboy with a lucky 10-year-old hat and the other a reserved businessman who brought his 83-year-old mother to Churchill Downs for the race (and supported her fragile body from a spot on the rail) -- smarter than all of racing's sheikhs and barons, and all of its hedge fund heroes and hustlers, at half the cost of a Prius.