As many of you know I like to bet on thoroughbred horses. Some other guys and I owned a race horse for awhile, I’ve watched videos on horse body language, and I know my way around the backstretch. I can’t remember the last names of people I taught with for thirty years, but I can’t forget every photo finish that cost me a hundred dollars.

Right now handicappers all over the country are sorting out the Kentucky Derby possibilities. The Derby is the first Saturday in May, and three year olds (all of them have their birthdays on Jan 1) whose owners have Derby dreams are running in prep races. Some are up to the task of competing against the best in May, some aren’t. Already there are lots of defections.
The whole process of sussing out a winner reminds me of reading manuscripts for contests. At first, many look promising. Then attrition sets in — Not fast enough, too fast, no stamina, stamina but no sense of pace, beauty but no guts, guts but no heart.
But it’s just March. Somewhere, probably, there’s a colt nobody has heard of who’ll ship to Florida or New York, run lights out, and make everybody’s heart beat a little faster. Just like the manuscript by somebody no one has ever heard up that makes the judges call each other and say, “Have you read X? Wow!”
Stay tuned. I’ll know more in a month or so. About the Derby horses that is.