Congratulations to Super Saver and Calvin Borel, the winners of the 136th Kentucky Derby this past Saturday! For those of you that follow horse racing, even casually, you may recognize Calvin’s name, and you may even recognize him for his Breyer connection.
Cavin Borel has blown the racing scene out of the water in the past four years. His creole accent and polite nature has caused him to be a favorite among many as a hugely personable jockey. While his personality could speak for itself, his winning streak is even more impressive. In 2007 he seemed to come out of nowhere when he went from second to last place to win the Kentucky Derby with Street Sense! 2009 was truly Calvin’s year; in the Kentucky Derby he rode a 50-1 long shot into the winners circle surprising all of America and making the racing world take notice. Mine That Bird would have been considered impossible to win. Not only was he a gelding (Only 9 have won the Kentucky Derby) but he also was purchased for only $9500, pennies in the racing industry. Yet Calvin found a way to bring him over the finish line first.
Even more remarkable was the story the day before the 2009 Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks. This all filly race takes place the Friday before the Derby and brings together the top ladies of horse racing. While fillies can still compete with male horses on the race track, they often face a disadvantage due to speed and other factors. Calvin rode a filly by the name of Rachel Alexandra in the Oaks and gave hope to many, winning the Oaks and becoming only the 7th jockey ever to win the Derby and the Oaks in the same year. In May of 2009 Calvin took Rachel to the Preakness where she became the first filly in 85 years to make her way to the winners circle! She ended her year by winning the 2009 Horse Of The Year and has become America’s sweetheart!
Calvin Borel has proven that he is a once in a lifetime Jockey. Check out his Kentucky Derby 2010 ride here and gallop over to Golden Oak Stables to pick up your own Rachel Alexandra. Don’t forget to tune into the Preakness in a few weeks to see if Calvin can accomplish the one thing he has yet to do: win the Triple Crown!