The Corner

Four Quick Notes on the Derby Just Run

1. Churchill Downs has itself a British announcer, instead of a Kentuckian one — or even an American one. But the thing is, they still have him say Derby — in the American way. Not “Darby,” the British way. Maybe John Derbyshire has a particular insight?

2. The second line of “My Old Kentucky Home” goes, “’Tis summer, and the people are gay.” That takes you back. (I’m afraid that the word “people” used to be a lot worse — in the original. It was a word for slaves.)

3. As far as I can tell, the Kentucky Derby makes the Super Bowl look like a teetotal affair.

4. One of the great things about sports: upsets. Upsets. You never know — you never know. It is thrilling, this 50-to-1 horse! An expert told me he would finish last. Last! On the contrary: first — by a lot!

Thrilling, just thrilling. Life actually matters, and not just commentary and likelihood and conventional wisdom. You know what I mean? How thrilling, when odds are defied, in a positive way.


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