How Do You Get To The Derby

Derby Rose Banner

By Jamie

If you are human and regularly visit Craig’s Trailmix you know that we have a tradition of picking horses for the Kentucky Derby.  To join in simply pick a horse for the greatest two minutes in sports for the prize of bragging rights about your good judgement.  Everyone is welcome, simply put your selection in the comments.

If you are a horse, the route is much more strenuous.  All the horses in the Kentucky Derby are three years old.  For the sake of equality in racing, every horse in the Northern Hemisphere is born on January 1 no matter the actual birthdate. Breeders try to get as close to this date in early spring as possible as a late spring colt can be handicapped in size for their first racing season.

If you want a horse for the Derby, you either breed one with your own horses or by arrangement with another breeder or buy one at the yearling sales. Either way you are looking for the best possible heritage. Any time you want to know a thoroughbred’s ancestry, you go to the and plug in the name. You will immediately get six generations of very carefully recorded genealogy with blue for the stallions and pink for the mares (probably much better lineage than the humans betting on them). Reading one of these charts for a Derby qualifying horse is like looking at the Who’s Who for great horses of the last 50 years.

In the last half of their second year, training gets serious and most will start racing the shorter distances towards the end of their second year. The main thing to remember about the Derby horses is that they are very young and the Triple Crown is one of the most grueling series of races. This is why a Triple Crown winner is so rare and except for the winner of the Derby, most of the other horses will not run all three and why they usually retire to stud within a few years rather than risk such a valuable investment.

Most of the horses aiming for the Derby will be highly trained but lightly raced. There are 36 Derby qualifying races where a horse can earn points towards eligibility. The most prestigious races take place in the late spring prior to the Derby. These are the Wood Memorial, the Florida Derby, the Arkansas Derby, the Santa Anita Derby, the Louisiana Derby, the Toyota Blue Grass, and the U.A.E. Derby in Dubai.

These are the horses this year that won those top seven races and why this year is considered one of the best fields in Derby history.

Materiality won The Florida Derby (March 28)
International Star won the Louisiana Derby (March 28)
Mubtaahij won the U.A.E. Derby (March 28)
Frosted won The Wood Memorial (April 4)
Dortmund won the Santa Anita Derby (April 4)
Carpe Diem won The Blue Grass (April 4)
American Pharoah won The Arkansas Derby (April 11)

The post position Draw was held on Wednesday afternoon and the morning odds for race day assigned. You have until noon Saturday (East Coast Time) to give me your choice in the comments.

Trailmixer PP Horse Jockey Odds
Jack, Solar 01 Ocho Ocho Ocho Elvis Trujillo 50/1
Jamie, Blue Bronc, Sturgeone, XR 02 Carpe Diem John Velazquez 08/1
03 Materiality Javier Castellano 12/1
04 Tencendur Manuel Franco 30/1
05 Danzig Moon Julien Leparoux 30/1
06 Mubtaahijtaa C. Soumillion 20/1
07 El Kabeir Cal Borel 30/1
Patd 08 Dortmund Martin Garcia 03/1
09 Bolo Rafael Bejarano 30/1
10 Firing Line Gary Stevens 18/1
11 Stanford Florent Geroux 30/1
12 International Star Miguel Mena 20/1
13 Itsaknockout Luis Saez 32/1
14 Keen Ice K. Desormeaux 50/1
Patd (alternate) 15 Frosted Joel Rosario 05/1
16 War Story Joe Talamo 50/1
17 Mr. Z Ramon Vazquez 50/1
Pogo/Renee 18 American Pharoah Victor Espinoza 05/2
19 Upstart Jose Ortiz 15/1
20 Far Right Mike Smith 30/1
AE Tale of Verve Will run if any of the first 20 drop out
AE Frammento


Derby Trophy

— Jamie is a Trail Mix Contributor


Kentucky Oaks Lilies

Oaks Logo

By Jamie

In this year when a lady is running to win the race for President, it might be nice to acknowledge that the Fillies for the Lilies have been running for their reward just as long as the stallions have been racing for Roses. Every once in a while a girl gets to run with the boys, but the real test occurs every year just before the Derby. On that day you can wear any color you want as long as it is PINK. Gentlemen wear pink ties. For the women it is head to toe overdoing it for the fun of it.

The first running of the Kentucky Oaks was on May 19, 1875 when Churchill Downs was known as the Louisville Jockey Club. The race was founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. along with the Kentucky Derby. The Oaks and the Derby are the oldest continuously contested sporting events in American history, and the only horse races to be held at their original site since their conception. In the first race, the horse Vinaigrette won the then 1 1⁄2 mile race in a time of 2:39 3⁄4, winning a purse of $1,175. Since that race the Kentucky Oaks has been held each year.

Every year, the ladies attending try to outdo each other in hats and dresses and take a clue from an old musical Funny Face: Think Pink

Even the drinks are pink

1 1/4 oz. GREY GOOSE® Vodka
1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
1/4 oz. Triple Sec
3 oz. Cranberry Juice

This year on Friday, May 1,  the following fillies are in contention: Click on this link to see the pretty girls posing and who they thank for being this beautiful.

Here are the Post Positions and Morning Line odds.  Get your bets in by Thursday night.

Trailmixer Post Horse Odds Jockey
01 Forever Unbridled 15-1 M. Smith
02 Shook Up 30-1 R. Albarado
03 Include Betty 20-1 R. Homeister
04 Eskenformoney 20-1 J. Castellano
05 Condo commando 04-1 J. Rosario
Renee 06 Angela Renee 15-1 J. Velazquez
07 Lovely Maria 05-1 K. Clark
08 I’m A Chatterbox 04-1 F. Geroux
09 Money’soncharlotte 50-1 P. Lopez
Patd (Alt) 10 Oceanwave 30-1 R. Bejarano
11 Sarah Sis 30-1 G. Stevens
Jamie 12 Stellar Wind 07-2 v. Espinoza
13 Birdatthewire 06-1 I. Ortiz
Patd 14 Puca 15-1 J. Albarado
15 Peace And War 50-1 J. Leparoux


Lily Banner

A Great City Killed By It’s Own People

Blue Bronc

July 26, 1967.  I was a teenager, born in Detroit, delivering film to the news reporters, photographers and television crews (“film at 11″) because they had run out and the store I worked at always had the largest stock in the region.  My boss asked if I would drive from the store in Plymouth, Michigan to the middle of the Detroit riot.  It was one of those moments in life that few people ever get.  I said I would and began loading up my 1962 Ford Fairlane with boxes of 35mm film and cans of 16mm movie film.

I had my letter of introduction on my lap, it contained the magic words to let me inside the barriers.  At the first I got further directions on which streets to take to the news groups and which to avoid.  With a Jeep carrying soldiers armed with M-16’s and a 50mm machine gun mounted on the rear, on one side of me I drove on to deliver the cargo.

What I saw was as horrible as what we watched on the nightly 6pm news of the war in Vietnam.  The same soldiers were now in Detroit, I could only be shocked and horrified by the collision of these worlds.

My city was destroyed.  The death of Detroit was in front of me.

April 27, 2015.  I am in my middle 60’s watching a city, Baltimore, being destroyed by it’s citizens.  The reporters are saying the street news is the teens from a high school are burning their city down.  Baltimore was on the mend after years without industry; changing from a blue collar industrial town to a up and coming city for the white collar crew working in the tech world.

Will the criminals be brought to justice?  I expect so.  With today’s many ways to photograph and with social media being what it is, I think the criminals will face justice.

Will Baltimore survive?  Many thought Detroit would, but it did not.  The riots plus the white flight doomed a once great city.  Baltimore has people moving to it, not away from it.  Gentrification was taking over old, worn out blocks and making them nice.  The question is now if those moving in feel like staying or continue to move somewhere else?

I was starting to like Baltimore.  Now?  I fear we are on the knife edge.  Was there a racial divide like in Detroit?  Most likely there was some.  Was the violence and destruction the result of police actions?  Possibly.  The agitators would use any excuse to destroy.

— Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Beware of Bears

By PatD

Perhaps it’s time to pay attention to other news in the Mideast that has less to do with crazed killers and more about creative capitalists in communist clothing. Such as the news story: “China to unveil $46bn investment in Pakistan during visit by Xi Jingping — Chinese president’s rare visit and huge investment is part of plan to expand Beijing’s trade and transport footprint across Central and South” (The Guardian).

Is there something here we’re missing in these recent signs of economic and military expansions? And do we need to heed the warning from “the Big Lebowski”:

— PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor

And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel:

Blue Bronc

it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.”  — Dave Barry

Road trip!  This is the best idea ever.  Road trip to Iowa.  Now I used to do that when my parents would bundle all of us children up in the car and with Mom in the passenger seat, we would go west from Detroit to Chariton, Iowa.  The purpose was always to see Grandma and Grandpa, my mother’s father and her step-mother.  In to farm country we went.  For Thanksgiving, and sometime during the summer for the Iowa State Fair.  Great stuff.

Now I know things have changed over the years, such as having a complete interstate highway system.  And Sirius radio so you do not go freakin’ nuts trying to find a radio station to change the noise pattern from highway roar to C&W truckin’ music.  And, there are no more Howard Johnson’s.

howardjohnsonsDoing the road trip in the van makes a lot more sense than in a bus.  You get to see the world as you drive by in a car.  In a bus the view is not the same.  You get to stop in gas stations every 300 miles (or less depending on your bladder).   Stopping in places lets you see prices.  Visiting towns or cities lets you see for yourself the price of gasoline and milk.  Critical knowledge points for those times when some smartass asks you what the price of milk is.

Doing the up close and personal with real people, like those working for a living, right now allows a lot of time in the future to remember these experiences when giving speeches.  I will say that having time to talk with HRC is something  important for those doing the personal contact thing, each of these people will have fine memories to share for a long period.  Personally, I would like to have the experience, just as I would with Obama.

This morning I was talking with someone, a federal employee, about waking up early and writing for Trail Mix.  She asked what the latest post was about and I told her Hillary’s announcement [Insisting on Safety. . .].  She asked If I was going to write support articles, I told her no.  I have no reason to write those here, but I would be writing things to remind her of who we are and to keep her aim at our level.  Also, posts about the Republican clown car; but those would be too easy so I would not do too many.

Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Insisting on absolute safety is for people who …

don’t have the balls to live in the real world.”
— Mary Shafer, NASA (1989)

Blue Bronc
Well. After a couple years of vapid nothings we are in the countdown to a launch.  Not just any launch, but a full-fledged billion dollar explosion of power dollars launch.

Am I surprised at the multi-day warning to this announcement?  No.  In fact I am concerned that this is going to be like what we used to call vapor-ware.  A lot of promise of delivery and in the end the product has as much substance as a puff of cloud.

HRC has all by the short hairs and is ready to smash away with a mallet when she announces. The backwater talk keeps up with many references to Bill, Lewinsky, Benghazi (the never ending Republican search that nobody else cares about), New York, Arkansas, D.C., dancing with the real people, haircuts, pant suits, passing out and hubris excelsior. So far the Republicans are not chipping the voters away.

Can she produce a campaign that does keep the Republican clown car occupants destroying the Republican brand?  Sure.  A camel dressed in a serape can do that.  Can she help down ballot?  That is the big question.  One that she needs to address if she wants to run our country with a friendly Congress.

There are many other concerns I have about America, and I hope they are addressed during the next year and a half, addressed in a way that show how wrong it is to elect Republicans. I don’t expect to elect HRC based on those.  I do want her elected because she might turn out to be a good president.

— Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix contributor