Kentucky Derby as Buzz B Berkeley sees it…

1:49 pm Horseracing Handicapping, My POV, Recreation and Sports
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The Sport of Kings… the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports…

That’s not idle banter. We’ve been saying that for decades – and for good reason. The Kentucky Derby and its siblings (they’d hate me for that – so don’t tell them) are coming. And that’s exciting stuff!

I love the KD, not because it’s the most popular horse race in America, not because it signals Springtime, not because it’s a great opportunity for handicappers and gamers, but because: OK – all of them!

I used to live racing…. that’s all I did for 3 years… and it consumed me too. In order to be successful at handicapping, you’ll have to spend countless hours studying the horses and their connections. When I say hours… I mean it! I would handicap the day’s races over breakfast…. and again at night after leaving the track.

Back then, I relied on the Daily Racing Form and a little “computer” I bought at Radio Shack which ran on “basic” and I built my own program. It was essentially a numbers cruncher… but it made my life easier.

Today, I don’t follow the horses like I used to. I wish I could… I miss the challenge of handicapping and the excitement of the races.

Somewhere, it got too commercial. My library had dozens of books on the subject, and I barely scratched the surface. But today???? Wow… the titles are in the stratosphere, I can download them in a instant along with complicated software programs, charts, and my trusty Daily Racing Form.

But it’s beyond all that. I hope it’s just me, but I’m sensing a loss of interest in the sport itself. The problems are beginning to overshadow the fun!

Horses are injured and put down on TV! The great (IMO) series “Luck” shut down… not because of poor ratings, but because four horses died during the filming of the series.

Horses seem “manufactured”… no longer do we see the Stars from nowhere. They are carefully bred from carefully selected mares and sires. They are systematically raised, fed, trained and then separated from “family” and “friends” and inserted into the “race machinery”.

I guess I’m having a “PETA” moment. But what about the horses? Does anyone still care about the horses? I know I’m showing my age when I reminisce and show distaste for what is accepted as “progress”. The naturally born heroes are overshadowed by the genetically engineered runners that bring in Millions of Dollars at auctions – based upon their breeding and connections.

Having said all that, you’ll find me glued to my TV on “The First Saturday of May” for the “Run For The Roses” just as I always have (except for those glory years when I attended in person)… and I’ll have a favorite or two, and I’ll have a buck or two on them, and I’ll still love the “Sport of Kings” as I sit on the edge of my seat during “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sport”!

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