The Kentucky Derby is Saturday. It is a spectacle. Like, I mean, it's it's beyond a sporting event at this point. And in fact, you could tell from television coverage that it's not really a sporting event. I mean, the way TV covers it. They talk about it, but it is it's it's really a red carpet.
It's a red carpet. And oh, by the way, eventually, four hours after coverage begins, we will watch horses race for two minutes and make, you know, to basically two minutes, 202 or something like that and drink mint juleps. I don't I don't think mint juleps are very good. But maybe Dick Girardi, longtime Philadelphia Daily News reporter and columnist and award winning horse racing writer joins us.
Thanks to our friends at Bet Online. All right, sir. Is a mint julep good? Terrible.
Awful. My first derby as a fan, believe it or not, 1978, affirmed on his way to the triple crown. And I actually flew down from Baltimore the day before where I lived at the time where I grew up and slept in the airport because I had no place to stay. It was well before I got in the business and I bet my money on a firm and I wanted to watch the race. And I had no ticket for watching the race.
I just got a ticket to get into place. So I see some drunk and I had a mint julep, which I took in one sip of and it was horrible. So I said, my man, can I give you my mint julep in exchange for me standing in front of you to watch the race? He said, absolutely.
Wow. I gave him the julep. I watched the race. I cashed my ticket. That was my first and last sip of a mint julep. Just terrible.
Yeah. I have never had one, but I was told not to. Have you had a black-eyed Susan, which I used to live in Baltimore as well. And I went to, I've been to Preakness and I should have t-shirts that says I survived Preakness.
But I think a black-eyed Susan's pretty good. Yeah, of the two. It's no contest. And it's no contest to me about which is the cooler race because I grew up in Baltimore. So I'm a Preakness guy, but yeah, the Derby is unique to itself. But you know what?
As long as I'm getting some crabs and crab cakes when I go back every year, I'm good. There you go. Dick Girardi is with us here on the Adam Gold show. Thanks to our friends at BetOnline.ag.
All right. I told the person who helped broker this, our little deal here, that I was going to ask this before we got to the Derby coming up on Saturday, because this is something I saw today and I had never, I'd thought about it, but I'd never, I don't, we've talked before and I had never asked you about it. And I'm curious, how come every single speed and strength record in human sports has fallen, you know, and it continues to fall. We set records, sprinting, lifting, jumping, whatever, but not Secretariat.
1973, we are now 50 years removed and nobody has touched Secretariat's records in the Derby, in the Preakness or the Belmont. Do you have an explanation for that? Yeah, I think there's a couple of explanations.
One is Secretariat was one of one, right? Like Bob Beaman long jump at the Mexico City Olympics, something so out of the ordinary that you go, what, you know, how is that even possible? So that's one of the reasons he set these records that are, you know, horses don't run that fast, except he did. And secondly, a lot of it has to do with tracks and how they're maintained. This isn't like a, say like a long jump. It's the pit is not going to be that much different. The runway is not going to be that much different. Race tracks are, can vary dramatically on how fast or slow they are. It's not like a, it's not like a swimming pool where the records are the records, right? The water's not going to change that much. So a lot of times, final times can be affected by the speed, how fast or slow the surface is.
So that's also an issue. Maybe the surfaces of those three races were faster than they are now, but the bottom line is the horse was just faster. I mean, because it's not like, you know, when he's setting those records in 50 years, this is Derby 149. So there've been 99, 98 derbies before Secretariats and nobody ran that fast either. Right.
So he's just a complete one off. So I'm just curious why we haven't gotten better there. Why with, whether it's, I'll just use the term nutrition, if we could use that term for horses or training methods or science, why we haven't seen a horse lower that record. We've had other fast horses. Yep. That's true.
Yeah. I think, again, I think it's twofold. I think one, because Secretariats was such an unusual, unique, I mean, the Belmont record wasn't only the Belmont record for the race, it's the world record and it still holds. No horses run a mile and a half faster than 224 since then. Um, but I do think the breed at that, to get into really just your question, the breed as a whole has just really not gotten faster. And for maybe that's just the limit of the four legged animal. Unlike the human animal, you know, we're obviously a little different than two legged animals can do things that could not have been done. I mean, if you turn on like an NBA game from the sixties and watch it now, it's like a different sport.
I mean, it's like what? So, so yeah, but yeah, horse racing is not, is not bad. And maybe it's just the limit of the animals. All right, Dick Girardi, horse racing, horse racing expert, and not necessarily a geneticist, or maybe we can build a better, a better racehorse. This is a fascinating part of, I think, this conversation because most horses were, you know, bred in Kentucky or somewhere, you know, Maryland or Florida or California. Um, but now overseas, we've seen winners from, uh, the Middle East and now Japan is big in this.
Japan is big in it. And they have their first major contender this year. I mean, they had a good horse in it last year.
He just ended up getting caught up in a crazy pace and it was unfortunate, but Dermasota Gachi who won the UAE Derby in Dubai, Japanese bred, Japanese trained and owned. Uh, this is a really talented horse and the Japanese are starting to win. It's a huge sport over there. It's like the NFL is here. I mean, people just love it in Japan and in Hong Kong, especially, uh, and literally everybody over in Hong Kong has a betting account against like, like betting over here on the NFL.
Um, but this is easily the best source. The Japanese are brought over and not only are they winning races and internationally, like in Saudi Arabia and Dubai and in Europe, they won two Breeders Cup races in California, the Japanese did in 2021. So it's just a matter of time until they win the Derby. Could this be the year it could, I don't think the Americans are that great. I don't think there's any superstars.
So you have a 17 Dermasota Gachi, absolutely a contender. How much of a, uh, black cloud is the fact with no Bob Baffert, right? How much is, how much of that is hanging over the sports still? Or because it's the Kentucky Derby, uh, we can move on from that for at least a couple of days. Yeah, look, I think the Derby stands alone. Uh, Baffert is obviously the most well-known figure in the sport, having won two triple crowns and seven Derbys, but now, now only six is the one was taken away from him. Um, and he has been banned from Churchill Downs for two years that that ban and Saturday night, uh, after this race is over.
So it's, it's out there. Uh, you know, when you have a guy who's as recognizable and successful as he is, and the unfortunate part of that is the story has become that he's the Lance Armstrong of words raising, right. And it's really, it's really unfair. Uh, and I think the fact that I thought Churchill overreacted and got angry and by banning him for two years, everybody makes that assumption. I get why they were unhappy at Churchill because he'd had a couple of positives for medications. Yeah.
Uh, but the, the part of it that almost nobody understands, cause you just see the headlines, right? Force disqualified for illegal drugs. Well, this was actually a, it's a legal therapeutic medication.
It's an anti-inflammatory, um, and that is used in training all the time. It just can't be in a worship system on race day. So he was justly disqualified. I don't have a problem with that, but it was not a performance in answer.
It wasn't like it made the data spirit run faster, but that all got lost in the, in the craziness. Cause what we're all just about headlines, uh, unfortunate, but that the Derby will stand on its own and, and Baffert, he'll be at the Preakness. It can be at the Belmont.
He'd be everywhere. Just can't be a Churchill down on Saturday and he can be back there after Saturday. Does he have a horse that could win this race and will be a factor in the Preakness and the Belmont before we get back to who you like in this race? So reincarnators, the seven was the Baffert horse until, uh, he, he gave the trainer, Tim got team, uh, to actually, Tim got Dean had practical move in the race. There's going to be one of the favorites. He's now scratched.
He has a temperature. Uh, so reincarnate wasn't a Baffert barn. He's going to be a long shot. Uh, not without a chance. He's got some speed, but he's not Baffert's best. Three-year-old is his best. Three-year-old is a horse called Arabian night. And he's got, he's got a couple of others that are really good, but I don't think they're going to make the Preakness. Um, but we'll, I think we'll more likely see them, the better three year olds in this bar a little later in the year.
Isn't reincarnate a horse named reincarnate. Doesn't that kind of bring in other investigations? Like we've already seen, no, no, no, nevermind.
Uh, there was my, uh, my jokes are all works in progress. Dick Girardi is joining us. Who do you like? Who do you like in this race? And then we'll, uh, we'll talk about long shots.
Sure. Now I like to fill, uh, the three horse, um, loved his last race. I've watched him. I've watched all of his races.
Just love the progression. He's like the, he's like the high school freshmen that wasn't quite ready yet. It's now the senior star, right?
But no, but people haven't figured it out yet. I think he's sitting on the best race of his life and he's going to need it. Uh, he's listed at 12 to one at Churchill. That online has him at 20. I'd love to get anywhere in between those two numbers, but I think he's a major contender. That's probably going to get a little more ignored than others.
All right. And is there a super, a supposed super horse in this race? I mean, the only horse that could qualify would be Forte. Um, he is the favorite.
He should be the favorite. He's won five in a row. He was a two year old champion.
He won the Florida Derby, uh, in horse racing grade ones are the top level group as a, as a group, the 20 of them have won seven grade once before case one, four. So he's that good. Uh, so, but he hasn't really gotten any faster than he was six months ago. So some of the classes caught up to him a little bit. Uh, he's like that. He's like the guy who peaked as a high school senior and now he's in college and there's guys that have gotten better. You're already in here, uh, slamming high school athletes.
Uh, all right, final, uh, final thing before I let you go. Um, which, which is, is there a, uh, one of the prep races and you mentioned Florida Derby, uh, or the wood Memorial or anything, or is, is there any prep race that is a better indication? Maybe it's the Arkansas Derby or something in California or any of these better than any other, or is it just changed by the year?
Yeah, no, I think it does change by the year. I think that historically the Santa Nita Derby in, in recent years, the last 10 that's brought you a lot of Kentucky Derby winners, but that's cyclical. And unfortunately we just lost this year.
Santa needed Derby winner and practical move is going to scratch. Uh, it's very much cyclical from year to year, which one turns out to be the best one. And we'll all know after Saturday, right?
When someone comes out of one of these preparation, when we go, Hey, that was the best preparation. And we look, we're big hockey fans here. We should have series.
We shouldn't have one offs. We should have a best of seven, a best of seven Kentucky Derby winner, Dick Girardi, a long time horse racing expert. I appreciate your time. Uh, I'm sure we will talk again. You got it.
Thanks so much guys. You got a Dick Girardi here on the Adam Gold show. I look, I grew up and watched, I mean, and I still watch all of the triple crown races.
So mentioned that I worked in Baltimore. Preakness is the biggest, dirtiest party outside of Mardi Gras. Oh, it's gross, but go. Yeah. You got to experience it at least once and then it's just tremendous. Yeah.
Very unsanitary, but, but go, uh, cause it is a good time. But I also, I used to live right near, there were two tracks in Baltimore. One was Preakness, uh, which is mid, uh, and in terms of what it looks like, it's just an old track.
It just, it needs a lot of work. Uh, the other was Laurel Park, which is, was pretty close to miles. We used to go there and, and watch races. It's not a great high level track. You don't see, you don't see a lot of, you know, contenders there, but, uh, it was cool. If you enjoy, if you, I mean, it's cool to go and bet races and, uh, and pretend, you know what you're talking about, but I don't. So you don't wear big hats to Laura where you were. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Most people there in trench coats. Oh, okay. Mostly, uh, mostly trench coats.
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