Watching the Kentucky Derby has always been a family tradition of ours. Every year myself, my parents and our close relatives who live in Kentucky place our bets, compare the odds of each horse and then eagerly watch the most exciting two minutes in sports; at least in my opinion it is.
This year, I won the bragging rights in choosing the winning horse, for those who don’t know, California Chrome a three-year old colt out of California won the roses.
California Chrome’s win broke a couple records, he is officially the first California bred horse to win the derby in 52 years, and his trainer Art Sherman, 77, is the oldest trainer to have a Kentucky Derby winner.
Once California Chrome crossed the finish line, I immediately called my parents to shamelessly rub in their faces that my pick won, but as we were talking they brought up another of their harebrained ideas.
My parents are famous for these kinds of ideas, they are usually pretty sensible for the most part, but every now and then an idea pops in their heads and they just run with it, sometimes it actually pays off, and others, well, not so much.
This one, was of course involving Faith.
My mother explained to me that my dad was researching online, which if you knew my parents always means that one of these crazy ideas are about to come up, anyway, they were looking at sires for Faith to make our own racehorse just like California Chrome.
For those who don’t know the story of the Kentucky Derby winner, one of the reasons why his win is also so famous is because his owners did not pay an outrageous amount of money to purchase him; he was actually bred from a mare that the owners only paid $8,000 for, and from a sire whose breeding rights only costed about $2,000.
In the horse world that is very cheap, most thoroughbreds you see in the derby cost between $30,000 to $100,000, and to pay for a sire depending on how many and which races they have won can cost thousands and even millions.
So my parents thought, if they can do it so can we.
They found a sire named War Champ whose breeding rights cost $7,000, to breed with Faith and train the foal to be racehorse.
Faith is a registered thoroughbred, and so it could be done, but seriously? Training a racehorse is a full time commitment.
Fun fact: To see if a thoroughbred is registered to race they will always have a tattoo in their upper lip. This tattoo is known as the Jockey Club Tattoo and each tattoo is applied by technicians licensed through the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.
Anyway, I digress.
I laughed at this idea and said, “OK, if you want to pay to board the baby, pay for a trainer, move the horse up near Canterbury Park to actually be near a track so it can practice and be trained properly, then go for it. You can breed Faith.”
They joined in my laughter, and admitted it was a crazy idea, but fun to think about.
Who knows, maybe in a few years you’ll see a little colt or a filly from Minnesota on the track, but for now I think I’ll just watch and see if California Chrome can win the Triple Crown and see if his story will have a fairy tale ending.