In other news, I'm sure most of you have heard by now that Calvin Borel has been permanently taken off Mine That Bird, at least for the rest of the year. I'm a little saddened by this news, as horse racing had gotten a boost in the public spotlight with this Derby-winning team. Hopefully, any new fans who might've been recruited thanks to the hype will stick around to watch Rachel kick some tail in the remainder of her 2009 campaign.
As of yet, no jockey has yet been found to replace Borel, as trainer Chip Wooley is looking for a jock who can commit to the rest of the year, including the Breeders' Cup Classic. Mike Smith was asked, but declined because of his conflict of interest should Zenyatta face the boys for the first time in the Classic. Who would you name to replace Borel? Part of me wishes they'd call on Chantal Sutherland again, since she already knows the horse and wasn't given the opportunity to ride him in the Triple Crown. It would certainly give her career a boost to become a regular rider for the Derby winner if he stays in the same form he was in from May-June.
And in other news, Churchill Downs experienced fantastic results with their final test of night racing yesterday. I'm sad to have missed it. According to Blood-Horse, the attendance Thursday was 33,481 spectators--more than any other race day outside of the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, or Breeders' Cup days. That means more people showed up to watch claimers than to see Horse of the Year Curlin in his comeback race from the Dubai World Cup. It seems that Churchill has struck gold here in whatever they've been doing. You can vote on whether or not you want Churchill to continue night racing as a part of the regular meet here: http://www.churchilldowns.com/ I voted "yes," because whatever is bringing in more people to the sport, we can definitely support!