Sunday, May 03, 2009

Name of a Champion

If you haven't heard already, the Kentucky Derby was run yesterday; one of three times (two if there's no chance of a triple crown winner) that mainstream America actually pays attention to the "Sport of Kings". So after all the prior days of pointless prognosticating by experts and a Saturday full of mint julep fueled drunken old timey debauchery they actually ran the roughly two minute long race and the winner turned out to be 50-1 long shot "Mine That Bird". While this was obviously a great victory for the trainers, the owners, the jockey, fans of upsets, and those lucky optimists who placed any significant wager on the horse to win; one of the biggest losers on the field was the horse itself. While a impressive triple crown win for most stallions is a fast track to a long life of luxury eating the finest hay and studding the finest mares; "Mine That Bird"'s unfortunate status as a gelding (castrated horse) will guarantee a comfortable but ultimately sex less golden years.

On a side note, consider how much more interesting and popular track and field would be if we adopted that sort of controlled, selective breeding. Imagine if a fantastic gold medal winning Olympic showing became a ticket to an all expense paid life of leisure where your only real obligation would be having sex with a never ending line of the finest female specimens brought in from all over the world. It beats the hell out of getting a Wheaties cover and singing the national anthem at basketball games. Another benefit? If Bruce Jenner's junk got into controlled lock down after the '76 games then there probably would be no Brody Jenner. Just something to consider.

Horse fucking and nightmarish future eugenics aside, the other big loser at the Derby was pre-race favorite "I Want Revenge" who became a late scratch due to injury. Since my only criteria when picking horses for a race is ranking them based on how much I like their names (just as valid as any other methodology), I was really pulling for "I Want Revenge" who, if they had won the Derby, would have replaced 2000 Derby champ "Fusaichi Pegasus" as my all time favorite winning horse name. In my rankings of the names of the field this year, "Mine that Bird" actually finished just about smack in the middle so in my book it wasn't as wild an upset.

Here are my final finishing position based on name and their eventual finish in reality:

19. Regal Ransom (8th)
(One of those boring rich person horse names. As it turned out it was owned by an especially rich person, the prince of Dubai)

18. Dunkirk (11th)

17. Advice (13th)
(Here's some advice: think of a more interesting name)

16. Summer Bird (6th)

15. West Side Bernie (9th)

14. Freisan Fire (18th)
(Sounds like a good name for an experimental indie rock band)

13. Desert Party (14th)
(Would have been higher if it was "Dessert Party")

12. Musket Man (3rd)

11. Mine That Bird (1st)
(I still don't know what that means)

10. General Quarters (10th)

9. Papa Clem (4th)

8. Flying Private (19th)
(Would have been ranked a bit higher if it was plural)

7. Nowhere to Hide (17th)
(Apparently it hid in the back of the pack)

6. Hold Me Back (12th)
(Sort of like naming your horse "she's the fastest")

5. Join in the Dance (7th)

4. Pioneerof the Nile (2nd)
(No that's not a typo, that's exactly how it's spelled. Kind of ridiculous but I like it)

3. Chocolate Candy (5th)

2. Atomic Rain (16th)
(Probably the name I'd give a horse in middle school)

1. Mr. Hot Stuff (15th)
(Awesome name. Any time it's a Mr. something it's a classic, but then they throw in the curveball with the "Hot Stuff")

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