The Press Buffet: The Race is not Always to the Swift, the Fight is not Always to the Strong (Just Most of the Time).

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Today I'm going to cover two things I know almost nothing about - Boxing and Horse Racing. Fortunately, my job is to dig up what other people think about these topics, so I'm golden. After the jump we'll sip mint juleps and hope our outlandish hats shield us from flying sweat and blood as we examine the genteel society of the Kentucky Derby and the brutality of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather punching each other for money.

The Louisville Courier-Journal put the Derby on the front page above the fold, of course, so let's look at their coverage first:

Jennie Rees reports that horse trainers are no slouches when it comes to coaching cliches - apparently they take it "one game at a time" as well. quote: “I’m sure we’ll probably go (to Preakness). The horse looks great this morning but we’ve got to wait. I had to focus on one thing, and it’s over.” - Carl Nafzger, trainer of Derby Champ Street Sense.


And, just in case you don't think horse racing is a contact sport, read about the injuries suffered by winning jockey Calvin Borel leading up to this race.

At age 18 he tried to race through a hole that wasn't there, and a filly named Miss Touchdown threw him into a light post. He suffered shattered ribs, had to have his spleen removed and spent a short time in a coma. When he came back to the track, Cecil put him back on the same filly. She won.

And, my favorite detail in this piece by Eric Crawford: In his first Kentucky Derby in 1993, Borel came in 17th on a horse called Rockamundo.


On the off chance that you're into the people-watching aspects of the Derby, here's some celebrity photos, including Michael Jordan, the father of Anna Nicole's baby, and Gene Simmons with two Skinemax soft-porn stars.

And, of course, crazy hats.


Now, off to Las Vegas, where the glitz and glamor went indoors for a huge fight night between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather won by decision.

Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal is already calling for a rematch.

Listening to what boxers say about their futures after such a momentous fight is like listening to a fifth-grader discuss his options for college. It doesn't mean anything. Mayweather insisted throughout the weeks of preparations that he would retire following this night and would now do so with a 38-0 record. But he also hasn't received that telephone call that is sure to come from De La Hoya's camp, the one that begins talking about all the money a second fight would generate.

It may sound cynical, but it also sounds absolutely correct.

Also, the party was on in Vegas, too. Plenty of babes and betting.


So here's my question: Given the choice, where would you have been this weekend? Savoring the open air with a mint julep and a dorky hat in Louisville, or taking in the nightlife with gambling and early bird specials in Vegas?

Let me know in the comments.

-Extra P.

Posted by Eric (Extra P.) at 3:09 PM


Vegas is calling, baby.

Watching a title bout between two big name fighters and doing a little gambling totally trumps watching horses I've never heard of run around a track and wearing an ugly hat.

And what the hell is a "julep", anyway?

May 6, 2007, 4:44:00 PM  

Yeah, for the "I was there" appeal, Vegas probably takes the cake. If I just want to get drunk with a bunch of wealthy southerners, we have plenty of horse races right here in Virginia.

extrapolater said...
May 6, 2007, 10:15:00 PM  

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