Derby Dating

(Barking Madcaz)

Bandwagon jumpers, believers, non-believers, and hype haters… we’re all looking for the same thing, right? To fall in love. But we’re skeptics… hurt so many times in the past, afraid to open our hearts again and be made a fool of. So we’re cautious, asking our intendeds to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop before we’ll say with certainty “I love [horse name]!”.

Maybe I don’t believe in monogamy… I believe it’s ok to love one and bet on another, or even multiple others! I like to have an open relationship with a horse. I may love you with all of my heart, but if your odds are too low I’m probably not going to bet on you. Sorry honey!

It’s close enough to the big dance now that I can start to evaluate my Derby suitors. For the most part I’ve seen enough to know who’s just a fleeting interest and who’s got some real potential.

Just a crush? Let’s be friends? Or I really think we could be something special… only time will tell! Until then, here’s how they’re stacking for me.

Like, as in Like Like:


He caught my eye as a two year old, putting in very game efforts in both the Champagne and Breeders’ Cup.

But he really won me over in the Risen Star with his shocking turn of foot and insane final quarter. And just to prove that he’s no one trick pony, he stayed involved in the Louisiana Derby, sitting much closer to the pace and proving again that he can get around those others when he needs too.

Sure, he’s a hype machine and there’s always something, but he’s moved off my “prove it to me list” and on the confirmed “Like” list.

Interested in, if all goes well, next stop Like:

Sierra Sunset:

This guy just turned up on my radar yesterday but I’m definitely interested. Getting away from the polytrack has spiffed up this looker! He improved at a mile at Oaklawn when he placing to the also dreamy Denis of Cork and then stretched out beautifully to win impressively. I’m ready to see some more!

Denis Cork:

And doesn’t Sierra Sunset’s nice performance speak well of this young man? His performance in the aforementioned race was very professional, sitting just off the pace and then powering home. I’m really looking forward to his next outing.

Elysium Fields:

Another new guy on the scene, at least for me, his performance in the Fountain of Youth was full of promise. Just as it looked like Cool Coal Man was going to put some distance between them, he moved to the outside and turned it on… fighting back is a big turn on! Not only does this bode well for the distance but he kept going in the gallop out… this guy is the at the top of the list!

Majestic Warrior:

His performance in the Hopeful was indeed just that! He came out of the clouds to blow past the favorites. In his 3yo debut he ran wide and made big a move on the final turn but failed to fire. I believe in this handsome devil and am willing to give him another chance to prove himself to me.

Cool Coal Man:

As already mentioned, this guy looked very convincing in the Fountain of Youth but I still want a little more convincing before I say yes.

King’s Silver Son:

Here’s another new guy on the scene! He was really game and closing hard in the stretch in the Rebel. With a little more practice he could be a real heart stopper… I’ve got my eye on you!

Fierce Wind:

Obviously, I like to have a lot of suitors on deck… but that’s just because you can never be too sure! I found this guy’s performance in the Sam B. Davis as solid as any and for that I’m willing to keep him on the (apparently not so) short list to see what happens next.

Want to Like but:

Georgie Boy:

Dirt darling, dirt. That’s my only reservation but it’s one I can’t overlook, at least not for the Derby. Too bad too, he could be just the one for me otherwise!


I wanted his Gotham win to impress me more than it did but 1) I couldn’t see what happened and 2) he was shipped there to avoid Pyro. I like a winner and a touch of mystery but I need to see more of what you’ve got before we go any further!

Court Vision:

He could pop right back up on the ‘Next Stop Like” list with ease but I thought he’d do a little a better in the Fountain of Youth… I mean he did close off a slow pace in that rowdy Remsen! Maybe we’ll just be friends, but really good friends!

El Gato Malo:

Hard not to like a bad boy, but this bad boy may not be that bad after all. And what will he make of the dirt? I may just keep him on my “call him when you’re in Cali” list.

Not Sure About:

Colonel John:

Admittedly, it takes a lot for me to pay attention to those Cali boys so perhaps I haven’t given this one a fair shake. He just hasn’t been on my radar.

Tale of Ekati:

I’m willing to give him another start off of his tough debut but Majestic Warrior gave me butterflies the first time I noticed him, not this guy.

J Be K:

He’s fast and I like that but can he stay in for the long haul? I don’t think he got fair shake at it last out as Kent D. didn’t harness his natural speed. I’ll believe it when I see it but think he should get another shot.

Big Brown:

There’s a lot of talk about this late comer, I’d like to get a look for myself before I believe any hype.

Cowboy Cal:

Again, another one from Cali… I can’t keep all you surfer dudes straight!


I’ve been hearing rumors in the hallways that there’s a new student starting soon and he’s really something. You never know when some one exciting can show up and change everything!

War Pass:

Last year’s prom king, and deservedly so. But we’re older now and it’s time to get a little more serious, show that you can handle the distance. Everyone has a bad day… hey, that’s part of growing up. But you’re going to have buckle down and really bring it next time or you may not be the top of your class after all.

Like with a small “l”:


He’s an around the way guy, full of heart and as honest as they come… what’s not to like? I’ll be really happy for him if it works out but if not maybe we can hang out this summer?

Big Truck:

Ditto accept if I had to pick between the two of them, I’d pick this big guy. He’s improved every time since the Hucheson and now we know he doesn’t like slop! Regardless of how it all works out, I’ll be looking for him this summer.

Unbridled Vicar:

He won’t make it to the big dance but I bet he might get better with age!

Blackberry Road:

I dismissed him early because people seemed to think he was the next Street Sense (which wasn’t exactly the kind of thing to get me interested), but as it turns out I think this guy’s got some heart. Check you later on in the year!

Z Fortune:

Sometimes those rich guys are endearing when they mess up a little. Maybe his parents don’t have realistic expectations for him? Just because he won’t be a doctor doesn’t mean he won’t be good at something!

Broken Up With:

Anak Nakal:

I’m sure you’re a nice guy, and I don’t have anything bad to say about you… but from what some of my friends were saying about you I expected a little more. I do wish you the best of luck and maybe our paths will cross again some day.