Catahoula's Calvin Borel wins Saturday's Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Catahoula’s own Calvin Borel, aboard Mine That Bird, won the Kentucky Derby with a dramatic stretch run through the mud Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Borel found room along the rail, his favorite spot, deep in the stretch then pulled away for a 6 3/4-length win to give the 50-1 long shot one of the biggest upsets in the 135-year history of the race.
It was the largest margin of victory in the Derby since Assault won by eight lengths in 1946. Barbaro won in 2006 by 6 1/2 lengths.
The Derby win was the second in three years for Borel, who used a similar stretch run to send Street Sense to the winner's circle in 2007.
"Calvin did a super job," winning trainer Chip Woolley said. "I just can't say enough about the way things went for us. Calvin picks a spot, everything fell together."
Calvin’s spot is so famously right up on the rail that track folk, from owners to exercise riders, call him Calvin “Bo-Rail."
Of course it wasn’t supposed to happen. The favorite, I Want Revenge, was scratched because of concerns over heat in the colt's left front ankle.
"I really didn't come here with a great conviction that we could win," Woolley said. But nobody really asked Calvin."