Horse Racing

Larry Collmus talks about the Derby shaker in the writers room

Larry Collmus has been calling races at the highest level for a long time, but even his extensive experience and expertise can hardly prepare him for what happened in the GI Kentucky Derby gorgeous on Saturday, as the 80-1 Rich Strike (Keen Ice) bomb seems to come from nowhere to surpass the short-priced Epicenter pair (Not this time) and Zandon (Start up) and scored the second-biggest disappointment in the Race for the Roses’ 148-year history. Third, Collmus joined the TDN . Writers’ Department Presented by Keeneland as Green Team Guest of the Week to recall his shock when he saw Rich Strike rally inside, discuss whether he remembers becoming a full-time racer, impart his advice to future generations of racers and beyond.

“I wouldn’t say a single surprise, I would say a lot of surprise,” Collmus said of his reaction during Saturday’s intense run. “I honestly wish I had picked him up sooner, but it was tough during the Kentucky Derby trying to keep track of all these horses and the moves often appear on the outside, so that’s where you are looking for late moves. And while that’s going on, here’s the last possible horse you’re looking for in Rich Strike. He wasn’t even in the race at 9:00 on Friday. Luckily, as racers, we went for the silk, the rider’s color, and he was the only red-and-white silk horse in the race, thank goodness. So here he goes inside and you’re like, it must be Rich Strike, and boom, you catch him at the right moment. I’m glad I caught him honestly. ”

The 20-horse Derby was a unique challenge as it is the largest flat-track racecourse in North America, and Collmus was asked what he did to prepare for such a daunting task compared to a standard race. more standard.

“My preparations vary widely, but the Kentucky Derby is its own,” he said. “In other words, I’m going to start like everyone else watching the prep races from January and start getting to know those horses. Then, when we got to the set time, within 10 days of the race, Churchill Downs would send me a PDF of all the horse racing games, and I would make the flashcards. to start memorizing names five, six times a day. It was this horse, that was this horse, and thank god I made the stallions. Then, of course, you have [silks] the colors can be similar in the Derby, so you want to know the running style, you want to know what color the horse is, any facial markings, do they have white spots, do they wear flashing lights. Anything to separate all the horses. You don’t have to do it on a daily basis because you already have up to 12 horses and there’s a lot less pressure. “

Elsewhere in the show, also sponsored by Coolmore, End lanethe KTOB, XBTV, Purebred West Point and Legacy Bloodstock, the writers broke down all the star-gathering action from the Derby/Oaks weekend and reacted to the announcement of a trial date for indicted coach Jason Servis. Click here to view the program; click here for the audio-only version, or find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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