Jenny Kellner is an award-winning journalist and educator who has written about horse racing for more than 20 years. She has been a media specialist with NYRA for the past four years.
All week, people have been asking me, “Jenny, who do you like in the Kentucky Derby?”
Today, I have the answer.
Let me preface my selections with the following: Last year, I made it my business to carefully sift through the past performances, analyze pedigrees, peruse the weather forecasts and weigh my sober conclusions against what various Professional Racing Analysts had to say.
I didn’t come up with Mine That Bird.
But many, many people did, and they did so not because they were great handicappers but because they: a) liked birds, b) liked Calvin Borel, or c) thought the No. 8 was meaningful in some form or another.
So, by the time the Belmont Stakes rolled round, I had thrown out all the traditional handicapping tools and was open to anything. Inspiration came in the form of a pair of hummingbird earrings, which, along with the late, spontaneous addition of Dunkirk, provided the basis for a very healthy trifecta.
Yesterday, Derby insight came to me as I was contemplating a pint of Guinness. If you didn’t already know this, unlike all other beers, bubbles in Guinness go down (I am not making this up). This flouting of the laws of physics was exactly the kind of contrary, non-linear, irrational jumping-off point I was in search of.
Herewith, my Derby bet: a $2 trifecta box consisting of:
(where many people drink Guinness)
(named after someone who drinks Guinness)
(where Guinness is kept cold)
Lookin at Lucky
(because Irish people are lucky, especially if they drink Guinness)
Here’s mud in your eye!