Handicapping the Derby with all the entrants as lightly raced as they are these days is truly an adventure, but there’s no question a couple of well- deserving individuals were in the winner’s circle. Trainer Graham Motion, the TRA’s neighbor across the road at the Fair Hill Training Center, is an exceptional trainer and a terrific person. One of the Team Valor partners is Carl Pascarella, who as CEO of VISA, provided racing with one of the best sponsorship partners it has ever had. . .
Good for a guaranteed grin will be tonight’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” as its on-the-scene reporter interviews Bob Baffert prior to the race. . .
The winner’s party in the Kentucky Derby Museum is always interesting because coming immediately after the press interviews it has just begun to sink in for the owner(s) and trainer that they have just experienced a monumental life’s event. Owner Barry Irwin, rarely at a loss for words, could only get out a one-line “dream come true” before choking up and Graham Motion appeared more stunned than elated. True emotion is always fascinating. . .
By the way, if racing could take the Derby Museum’s 360-degree audio-visual show on the road, it would have no trouble making new fans of racing. The Derby show exquisitely captures all the human aspirations that ride on the back of every Thoroughbred. If you’re in Louisville, the Museum is not to be missed.