- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Greetings from the Kentucky Derby, home of the Yumfecta. More on that in a minute.

First, some housekeeping. From now on — after taking suggestions from Dan Daly and Barker Davis — these postcards will be written by Sir Scribble. The other nominations were His Hackness (Barker) and Bored of Tourism (Daly).

Sir Scribble arrived in Louisville three hours late on Monday (thank you, Delta Airlines — you were more reliable while operating in bankruptcy) to find 90-degree temperatures. He then discovered that TVG, the excellent horse racing network, is not welcome at Churchill Downs. Something called HRTV is the exclusive home for all things Kentucky Derby. For a sport in need of every shred of publicity it can get, keeping TVG out of here is pathetic.

It gets better. While browsing the Associated Press wire late Monday night, Sir Scribble saw an item offering $1 million — split among the jockey, trainer, owner and a charity — if a horse wins by 6 lengths, the margin of Barbaro’s win last year. It is called the Yumfecta, sponsored by Yum! Brands, the fast food giant.

Again, pathetic.

The chances of the bonus being met are slim since only four horses in the 132 Derbys have won by 6 or more lengths.

But here’s the dilemma: In most races and especially Grade I races like the Derby, if a horse has a commanding lead down the lane, the jockey puts the stick away to save some fuel for the future. This is especially true in the Derby, in which the winner almost always races back in two weeks at the Preakness.

My guess is that 1) It won’t be an issue because the race won’t be a rout and 2) The jockey will put the stick away instead of wasting precious energy.

— Ryan O’Halloran

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