JUST OUT OF THE GATE
One of the most exciting yearly events in Louisville is the Kentucky Derby, a mile and a quarter race for One million dollars, a blanket of roses and fame and glory.
The 1997 Kentucky Derby winner was Silver Charm, who won over Captain Bodgit in a photo finish. He went on to win the Preakness and lose the Belmont and the Triple Crown.
drawing by Leroy Neiman
Last year, 1998, the favorite's were Favorite Trick, Coronado's Quest, Real Quiet, Lil's Lad, Indian Charlie and Victory Gallop, not necessarily in that order. As it turned out, Real Quiet was the winner.
Horse of the year in 1998. Favorite Trick ran fifth for the first mile of the race, then faded to come in eighth.
Before the race, Questions mounted regarding Favorite trick, who was 8-for-8. The main question being whether or not the "sprinter" could handle the Derby's mile and 1/4 distance. There was even a question as to whether he could even make the May 2nd race.
Trainer Bill Mott felt that the 2-year old got a late start and was on a tight schedule which might prevent his making it to the Derby. Having taken a 2 month hiatus from a grueling schedule, he only had two prep races before May 2. He'd only been jogging since the first of the year and had only recently started galloping a mile daily.
Real Quiet held on to his lead as he neared the finish line. He had gained the lead before reaching the quarter pole at the top of the stretch.