Sunday, May 6, 2007
Calvin Borel has been racing horses for over 25 years. He's won over 4000 times. I don't know much about thoroughbred horse racing but 4000 sounds pretty good. For some reason, he has only been given five opportunities to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Saturday he won riding Street Sense. I've never seen such unbridled enthusiasm on horse racings' biggest stage. EVERYONE was hugging and high/low fiving Calvin who was raising his fist in the air in triumph while wiping away tears. From what I could discern during the broadcast, he is loved, maybe even BELOVED, by everyone who knows him. The plain speaking horse jockey from St. Martinsville, Louisianna, who looks closer to 61 then 41, has apparently paid his dues, on and off the track. I get the feeling that, for some reason, he has not been chosen to ride as many great horses as you would expect someone who is THIS good. I'm sure there is a very interesting story that someday I hope to read or even watch in a movie theater.
Calvin has an unconventional style of riding. He hugs the rail earning him the nickname: Calvin Bo-rail. It IS smart. The shortest distance around the track. At the Breeders Cup and again Saturday at the Derby, the horses ahead of him parted like the red sea just in time for him to race ahead and win going away. Maybe this tactic hasn't always worked. I don't know. But it was beautiful to watch.
Calvin. God Bless You! You have given every talented person who has been winning at every thing they do, everywhere they go, but who hasn't been given the large stage opportunity, hope and inspiration, that someday, if they keep getting back on the horse, they too will end up in the winner's circle, hands raised high in the air.