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May. 2 2010 - 9:26 am | 894 views | 0 recommendations | 5 comments

Calvin Borel is the Secretariat of humans

Calvin Borel signing a racing form after a rac...

Image via Wikipedia

Calvin Borel is horse racing’s greatest icon in decades.

This is what Borel has done in four years:

  • Won the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on a 91-1 longshot, in June, 2006.
  • Rode Street Sense to victory in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, and followed that up with a runner-up run in the Preakness.
  • In July of 2007, Borel won six races on a single card at Churchill.
  • He rode Rachel Alexandria to victory at the Kentucky Oaks last year.
  • Then, the very next day, he steered Mine That Bird, a 50-1 horse, to victory at the Kentucky Derby.
  • A couple of weeks later, he beat Mine That Bird at the Preakness, aboard Rachel Alexandria. He was the first jockey to win two legs of a triple crown on different horses.
  • Yesterday, aboard Super Saver, Borel won the Kentucky Derby again. He is the first jockey to ever win three of four Kentucky Derbies.

What’s truly incredible about all that, is that it all came after Borel’s 39th birthday. He spent over twenty years as a slightly above mid-level jockey before that 91-1 victory in 2006. Now, he’s this generation’s most famous and prolific jockey. A living horse racing legend.

Some nominees to play Borel in the movie:

  • Michael Cera — scrawny and will certainly want that “serious” role at some point

  • Joe Pesci — the perfect match, but Hollywood will never let it happen

  • Tobey Maguire — because people seemed to like Seabiscuit, for some unfathomable reason

  • Elijah Wood — c’mon, you know it works. Borel kinda looks like Frodo

And the wildcard…..


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    “Tobey Maguire — because people seemed to like Seabiscuit, for some unfathomable reason”

    Ummm…wha?! Do you need me to list all the reasons (yes, plural, reasons!) why “Seabiscuit” was a great movie? No other sports movie took the kind of chances that Seabiscuit did. Cutting away from the one-on-one race to show still photographs of people listening to the call on the radio…it was such a wonderful nod to a very specific time in history. A great story which produced a great book which produced a great movie, all managing to stay true to the actual events.

    Anyway, it’s nice to a talented athlete such as Calvin Borel get the credit he’s due. Too many people look at horse sports and jump to the conclusion that the riders are simply sitting pretty as the most talented/strongest/fastest horses automatically wins. Borel proves that horse and rider are partners, team players, just like any other sport with multiple members. Thanks for focusing some attention on two great athletes…Can’t wait for the Preakness coverage!

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