07 June 2007

Am I reading this right? A Kentucky Derby winner at Mountaineer?

While browsing the entries for Mountaineer Race Track, I was delighted to see that Belmont will not be the only track with a 1-1/2 mile race on Saturday. The 8th race for 3 year olds and up is a starter allowance at 1-1/2 miles with a purse of $20,600. The race includes Decoy Dan, Revered Soldier, and Kanani Roy -- the top three finishers from a May 19 allowance race at 1-3/16 -- as well as the poetic Jeffrey's Cat.

But there's another entry that really caught my eye: Humble Chris who's being ridden by .... Calvin Borel!?! Calvin Borel, Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner? Calvin Borel, Kentucky Derby winner? That Calvin Borel?

It appears so. Borel seems to be the regular rider for Humble Chris; at least, he's ridden 6 year old to victory before. Borel is also slated to ride Trickeration in race 7 and Go Now in the ninth, the $75,000 Slipton Fell Handicap. Apparently, Borel and Go Now have been to Mountaineer before, as explained in this press release for the Mountaineer Mile in November, though Go Now was later scratched from that race.

All three of Borel's mounts are trained by Ron Moquett, who may be best known as the trainer of Seek Gold. You remember Seek Gold, who nipped past Pleasant Drift to win the Stephen Foster last year with -- of course -- Borel in the irons. So yes, I'm thinking that it really is that Calvin Borel coming to rural West Virginia on Belmont Stakes Day.

**start rant**
I'm wondering why the track hasn't advertised this better. There is nothing on the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort website about this. The Clydesdales got more publicity for their 15-minute appearance. Surely, Mountaineer would like a few folks to visit the track and wager on the Belmont Stakes. The added benefit of hosting the most recent Kentucky Derby winning jockey might drag in more than a few fans from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

OK, I know advertising costs money, but surely the space on the Mountaineer homepage that's currently devoted to the "Taste of Italy" Tuesday specials (for $2.99) or the "Reggae Jammin' Fridays" (featuring 99-cent coconut shrimp) could be spared for a week. Heck, there's not even a press release about the race on the site; the most recent news is from February, when Humberto Soto and Humberto Toledo battled for the Super Featherweight Title. And the site doesn't even tell us who won that. Aaargh!
**end rant**

At any rate, it looks like a great day of racing in Hancock County on Saturday. If you're in that neck of the woods, why not stop by the track and cheer on that wonderful ambassador for racing, Calvin Borel? Parking's free, admission's free, beer's under $3, and you can get right up to the rail to see a great one pass by. And if anyone asks where you heard about it, tell 'em some librarian in Pittsburgh is outdoing the track's PR department.


Rising Rainbow said...

Geez, I got behind here. How did I miss this post? Calvin Borel, huh, good for you! That is your "local" track, right? So since i'm so late with this, how did it go??

qq said...

Borel and Humble Chris won the 1-1/2 mile allowance, but sadly, Go Now finished last in the Slipton Fell Handicap.