A Nevada Derby; no horses in these races

Bet on Kentucky Derby

Tomorrow is the big horse race of the year – The Kentucky Derby – several of the previous favorites have dropped out, leaving the bookmakers a little less than certain about which horse will win.  Jason Shandler wrote a great line in his article on the Derby in Blood-Horse News; about the only thing we know for certain is that someone will win Derby 137 at Churchill Downs.

For one hundred and thirty-seven years people have been going to Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May to watch a group three-year old thoroughbreds run one mile and one quarter – and of course to bet on the outcome.  Last year, 155,000 people came and bet $30 million, millions more stayed home and watched the races on television.  This year will likely garner as many people and as much money, it is just a Kentucky thing to do.

Tomorrow is a big day for racing in northern Nevada too, the regional track & field qualifying races.   In the state capital, Carson City, high school track and field athletes will be competing to qualify for next weeks regional finals.  The winners of the finals earn the right to represent the northern half of the state in Las Vegas in three weeks at the state high school track and field championships.  It is not quite a 137 year old tradition, but it is one of our traditions.  I will not be in Kentucky watching the horses, I am going to be standing along side the track in Carson City; there will not be 155,000 spectators, nor any money wagered.

As the guy said some horse will win the derby.  But in Carson hundreds of young men and women are going to be working very hard to qualify for state; and it won’t be just someone who wins, every qualifier and every non-qualifier is an important person.  All of their friends, family and fellow athletes will care very much what happens to each athlete.  It is a lot more exciting than a horse race and much more meaningful, at least to me.


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