SportsChump channels inner horse whisperer; Predicts winner of Kentucky Derby

“Oh, this baby loves the slop. Loves it, eats it up. Eats the slop. Born in the slop. His father was a mudder. His mother was a mudder.”

Michael Richards as Kramer, Seinfeld episode “The Subway,” originally aired, Jan. 8, 1992

I don’t think I’ve ever successfully picked a Kentucky Derby winner.  For years, Milhouse and I have been fruitlessly putting together different horses in some abstract, ineffective amalgam of a superfecta for a shot at glory that never pays off while Partykiller, drunk on homemade Woodford Reserve juleps, shouts “Quad Secant” in the background, his foolproof horseracing scheme only proving in that end that we’re all fools.

But it was Derby Day, and one must place a wager.  It would be un-American not to.

Photoshop replacing one handsome devil with another brought to you by the beautiful people at XVIII Designs

On the way to work, I flipped through the Sirius Channels as I do, trying to catch the latest sporting news.  Like eating too much stuff that’s bad for you, I’m careful about what information I digest these days.  Garbage in, garbage wager.

There was this one guy, however, who talked about the number three horse, Mystic Dan.  Remind me to thank him.  This analyst mentioned that at 16 to 1, the horse had value, that Dan had a history of running well in the mud and that the track at Churchill Downs was muddier than normal.

That’s all I needed to hear. 

As our beloved Hard Rock gambling app does not allow Florida residents to wager on horse racing, part of their agreement with local tracks to ensure they’d stay in business, I reached out to Milhouse, who had already quad-boxed his horses for the afternoon and was probably a few mint juleps in himself.

Like virtually every else on Derby Day, I hadn’t a clue which horse to wager on or why, so I played my radio tip, Mystic Dan, $10 across the board to win, place and show.

Prior to the race, I ensured every TV in the bar was tuned to Churchill Downs.  I even joked with customers that I carried an impressive streak coming into this Derby: 364 consecutive days without picking a loser.  It elicited the obligatory chuckle.

Nobody ever expects to call the correct horse on the sport’s biggest event.  I mean, over the years, how many of you have done so?  Yet the Derby remains the most historically, riveting two minutes in sports outside of mid-1980s Mike Tyson fights.  It’s even more exciting when the horse you took a flyer on comes out of the gate strong and keeps the inside track.

“HE’S ON THE RAIL!” I shouted, semi-obnoxiously.  Fortunately, some customers that I talked to about Mystic Dan also placed a friendly wager, so we had a communal cheering section.

Picture if you will, an abnormally crowded bar.  A young couple had just got married and while the pub is normally standing room only for Derby Day, the wedding party came in another 60 strong, with no reservation, all formally dressed as if they had just flown in from Lexington, or a wedding, or both.  Fortunately, my staff is equipped to handle such occasions. 

Volume on, crowd screaming, their friendly bartender the loudest, Mystic Dan maintained his inside position.

“C’MON, THREE!!!” I shouted, galloping behind the bar, heart racing alongside Mystic Dan’s as he never dropped from position.  Although for moments, he fell out of the top six, he kept that inside rail.  It was the first time I’d bet on a horse that was even in contention.

Then, that final turn, an opening in sight, that majestic steed that is Mystic Dan pulled away, distancing himself, the crowd watching, me in disbelief that I’d pulled the trigger on a tip that might hit.

And then, the photo finish.  Sierra Leone and Forever Young had narrowed the gap, inching closer at the finish line.  With my number three horse in the mix, I already had a winner but how much of one?  That all depended on, wait a minute, the nose, and who’s closer and…  Mystic Dan fucking won?!?

I texted Milhouse back immediately.  I was still busy behind the bar but fortunately the wedding party was so enthralled with the finish, they had taken a break from ordering to await the outcome.

“Holy fuck,” I typed, to which Milhouse immediately replied, “Holy shit.”  Great minds curse alike.

The $30 wager across the board cleared a net $297.90, not a bad hourly rate for horse whispering.  Now that I’ve officially called a winner, another feather in my gambling cap, I can honestly say, it was a rush.

Giddy up, Mystic Dan!  And to that unknown analyst on whatever radio station that was who landed me the tip, I appreciate ya’.  Keep up the good work.

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4 Replies to “SportsChump channels inner horse whisperer; Predicts winner of Kentucky Derby”

  1. Then you need to come up here to Ocala Bets and to the World Equestrian Center. You need to tell me how the bar is at World Equestrian Center, since we employees are restricted from having fun there.

  2. I’ve spent a little time at Tampa Bay Downs.
    Allright a lot of time. I had a hunch bet on Forever Young and had a feeling about Mystic Dan. I should have listened to that voice in my head but I’m so used to leading me astray.

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