Let’s Play “Pick Out the Derby Horse”

Jay Pharoah

(Credit: NBC/SNL)

If you’re looking for a little intel on this year’s Kentucky Derby, you’ve come to the right place. If you need a LOT of info, you need to go elsewhere.

My stepdaughter Katie rides a horse named Lola. I bring her to and from the barn ALL the time. And I LOVED Seabiscuit. So, that makes me eminently qualified to handicap the 2015 The Run for the Roses. Let’s play a round of “Pick Out the Derby Horse” and assess the field.

In each boldfaced pair below, one is a horse in the Derby and one is not. Give yourself a point for each correct guess. It’s “Pick Out the Derby Horse.” Annnnnd, you’re off…

Tres Tres Très or Ocho Ocho Ocho?
Even though the former would be a great name for a horse, with the double meaning of the Spanish Three Three Three and the French Very Very Very, it’s the latter that’s running this year. Unfortunately, the offspring of 2007 Derby winner Street Sense is a 50-1 underdog.

Carpe Nutrix or Carpe Diem?
The first one means “Seize the Breasts” in Latin. The second, “Seize the Day,” a famous line in Dead Poets Society and a song by Green Day, is an 8-1 shot Saturday.

Danzig Moon or Anthrax Sun?
Although Central New York resident Joey Belladonna, the lead singer of Anthrax, no doubt WISHES he had a horse in the race, it’s heavy metal band Danzig Moon (30-1) who will rock and roll in Louisville.

Radical Left or Far Right?
The second choice is both a longshot horse (30-1) and a longshot political stance, although extremes are unwise at either end of the political spectrum. And in life. Stick to the middle, but don’t get stuck in the pack.

Mr. L or Mr. Z?
The latter is the horse. The former was a nickname a college buddy of mine hung on himself. We were both pitchers on our college baseball team. Andy was a LOT better than me. He had never lost a game on the mound. Ever. Little League. High School. You name it. Undefeated. So, Mr. L was his alter ego–the L standing for the Loss he never suffered. Until freshman year at Wesleyan. Devastated, Andy never played again. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas hopes Mr. Z (50-1) fares better.

Dortmund or Stuttgart?
Two cities in Germany. Only one, Dortmund (Bob Baffert’s 3-1 shot), will be represented at Churchill Downs. Achtung!

Shesabeauty or Itsaknockout?
Classic Rock fans will recognize the first one as the title of the best song by The Tubes. The latter is the horse, a longshot hit at 30-1.

Upstart or Downwind?
The former (15-1) has a chance at the Derby, the latter is a better chance as a fart in the breeze.

American Pharoah or Jay Pharoah?
The interesting fact here is that the word “pharaoh” is misspelled. But, if the former is as good at racing as the latter is at impressions, American Pharoah (the 2015 favorite at 5-2) will spell victory for trainer Bob Baffert.

Hope you scored well in “Pick Out the Derby Horse,” and may you do even better with your wagers in the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio personality and lifetime loser at the track.

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