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Saturday
May012010

Derby Day on Mountain Time

EQUIDAILY.COM ROCKS THE BARN AND SEVERAL OTHER STABLE-RELATED BUILDINGS UPDATE: Hiiiiiiiiii, Equidaily readers!  Welcome to the cocktail party.

I bid you Rocky Mountain greetings from the Colorado Art Ranch, where nobody is watching the Derby, because it involves improper use of whips.  Everybody knows that the best place for a whip is your own butt. Tch.

1:47 PM: OK, when certain areas of the surface have actual tide schedules?  That's a sloppy track.

1:48: GARY STEVENS!, right off the top, wearing the same tie as last year's since it went over so well with The Laaaaaaadies.  Gary uses the phrase "impairs your vision," and thereby wins the Dick Button Memorial Saying Awesome Things Early in the Broadcast Award.

1:49 PM: My, this is a major weather event. My bumpin' Florida hurricane brotha Jim Cantore is on the case, which means we may expect volcano eruptions, typhoons, and a sandstorm by post time.

1:50 PM: Donna Brothers with the On Horseback Report and a reprise of last year's Preakness Burlesque Goggle Strip Show.  I liked '09's version better.  There was no needless prop of a horse, she felt the music more, and it was obvious that she really liked you.

1:52 PM: Joe Talamo, recently teleported in from reality television, votes Mike Smith out of the jock's room, loses seventeen pounds in a week by punching Jillian Michaels in the face, and rapidly blinks back tears as Simon Cowell calls his performance "pointless" and  "too karaoke."

1:53 PM: NBC strains mightily to find a celebrity on the "red carpet," the other end of which apparently leads to a casting call for a Love Boat reunion movie.  The best it can come up with is UK basketball coach John Calipari, who confirms that... um...

...You know what, it's been fourteen  seconds, and I already forgot what the man said.  I am quite sure, however, that the Earth could not have continued to rotate without his insight.

1:55 PM: Odds.  There are co-favorites, which I think is very nice of the horses.  Three-year-olds should know how to share.

1:56: Back to overtime Stanley Cup playoff coverage, because we have only seen eighteen million replays of the winning shot from  a mere forty-seven angles. "I think that's one of the most exciting overtime games I've ever seen," one analyst says very quietly as the Zamboni purrs past in the background.  Dude--dial it back.

2:00  PM: Official Bob Costas Status.  He hasn't been heard from here on Blonde Champagne since Jerry Seinfeld and Kelly Ripa kicked him off the air in the middle of the Vancouver Closing Ceremonies.   Bob, my love, I've missed you.  Where you been, bra? Polishing off your final position on table top hockey?  Because the world has been waiting.

2:07 PM: Adhering to its winning strategy of never reporting anything about the actual race, NBC dedicates several minutes to...Top Chef at the Derby.

2:08 PM: The Top Chef contestants, for absolutely no reason, enter  a discussion of who is, and who is not, Jewish.  Well, at least we've carried off the tap-dace coverage without making anybody uncomfortable.

2:09 PM: Bob drops an integrity bomb: The Top Chef segment was, in fact,  taped yesterday.  I cannot fully articulate my disappointment here.  This undermines the honesty of the entire broadcast.  How can I trust anything anymore?  Is GARY STEVENS! actually wearing The Red Tie of Power and Awesome?  Is GARY STEVENS there at all?  Are the horses CGI?   It's devastating.

This also means that NBC had a full 24 hours to cut the whole "Who's Kosher?" conversation, and chose not to.  That means there is other, worse footage is currently sitting on the digital cutting room floor.  I'm filing a FOIA request for the whole TODAY.

2:11 PM: Track announcer Tom Durkin enters a classroom fully stocked with small children as "Rule Brittania!" plays in the background.   I... think, or at least I hope, that the producers were going for "Pomp and Circumstance" and hit the wrong download button on the 101 Most Stirring Marches... Ever! album.  Because the combined imagery of Tom Durkin, colonization, and a bunch of fourth graders is a place I really don't want to go.  NBC, why you gotta ruin Tom Durkin like that?

2:13 PM: The background music has now tastefully shifted into something clarinet-heavy and French-sounding; it's damn near Moulin Rouge music, and, for serious, people, the less said about this the better.

2:15 PM: The best part of the immensely wasteful Durkin bit is the face of GARY STEVENS! when it's over.  It's this highly satisfying mixture of disgust, disbelief, anger, and shame, topped off with a closed-mouthed smile bravely mustered for job retention purposes.

2:18 PM: Natalie Morales announces that her outfit was personally provided by Isaac Mizrahi!  She has a minute and a half of footage to prove it!

Natalie... please.  He heaved something off the the Target rack in your general direction and added a hat from the clearance table at Dress Barn.  We can only hope that for the Preakness,  she showcases a dress from the haute Faded Glory line.

2:22 PM: Natalie and her QVCWear are interviewing Smokey Robinson, the highlight of which is Smokey staring at the post position list and saying nothing for a solid thirty seconds.  This is almost, but not quite, as riveting as the circling Zamboni.

2:24 PM: Green Bay Packer Aaron Rogers is... somewhere beige.  He is wearing the living hell out of a fedora.  I hereby demand a trench coat, a gritty office, and dame with more curves than a mountain road.

2:27 PM: Al Roker Eats Stuff Yesterday, Part II.  In order to smooth over the Appropriate Conversation Meter-breaking qualities  of Part I, everybody has a pleasant chat about abortion.

2:31 PM: Speaking of, now on the red carpet:  Rick Pitino, University of Louisville basketball coach and table-sex adulterer. "Basketball and horseracing, what are the parallels?" Natalie wants to know.  Say it, Rick.  "Both involve finding a hole."   SAY IT.

He does not say it.  Day ruined.

2:44 PM: Time to pep up the broadcast.  Let us run a Legal Zoom ad in which a woman cradles a cup of chamomile tea and discusses the possible death of her twin sons.

2:48 PM: Turf Classic.  Nothing like horses on grass, especially when one of them poops all over the lawn.  GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU 1500 POUND LOUSY KIDS.

2:51 PM: Remember General Quarters, from last year's Derby, trained by Everybody's Grandpappy? And then he lost, which meant that the terrorists won?  He just crossed the finish line first in the Classic.  TAKE THAT, Underwear Bomber!

3:01 PM: Update on  Chip Wooley and Mine That Bird, The Little Matchbox Horse Who Walked From New Mexico to Kentucky Uphill and In the Snow.  Chip still has his cowboy hat, but has ditched the crutches as being "so 2009."

3:05 PM: You guys, maybe it's because I haven't eaten in thirteen hours, but GARY STEVENS! just said "tactical position " and I about cried from the sheer beauty of it.  GARY STEVENS! for All of Congress!

3:07 PM: Avodart may cause "breast tenderness."  In men.  Does it also cause five-pound weight gain and the sensation that your abdomen is trying to twist its way out of your body?  Because if it does, when I come to power, all men everywhere are going to have it intravenously applied once every 28 days.

3:09 PM: National Anthem, by  Rascal Flatts, which is, at minimum, two-thirds drunk.  One member has his hands in his pockets.  That's OK, baby.  You be you while the privates on leave from Afghanistan stand in the rain with their hands snapped to their foreheads.

3:12 PM: Back to Jim Cantore as a funnel cloud descends directly upon him.

3:15 PM: Jock's room.  There is no discussion of who is Jewish, or Methodist, or Zoroastrian, or what, and I am simply appalled at the lapse.

3:18 PM: Diane Lane and the perfectly marvelous Penny Chenery, pimping this fall's Secretariat movie and Women in General.  Any breast tenderness, ladies?  No?  Okay then.

3:20 PM: Ten Wheat Thins to power me through the rest of the coverage.  I tell you what-- salt, riboflavin, and thiamine mononitrate at altitude is just better.

3:25 PM: Tom Durkin confirms that the problem with horseracing is that every horse wants to be in front, but only one actually can be.  Also, in another breaking story, Democrats kind of hate Republicans.

3:29 PM: Bob Baffert is wearing sunglasses inside on the day of Rainiest Derby Evah, because Bob Baffert can get away with that, or at least his hair is of the opinion he can.

3:33 PM: One of my residency housemates just broke the horrifying news that the sole bike in the residency house that works-- one out of five-- has been stolen.  It was part of Barbie's For Seven-Year-Old Girls Only series, a pink Huffy with a small wicker basket festooned with many plastic flowers, and we are all immensely fond of it because it's the only one with functioning breaks.  Housemate off to call the po-po.  This is at least as upsetting as the Al Roker: Not Live scandal.  Is all the world a tangle of deception and Huffy-swiping?

3:47 PM: Happiness is Todd Pletcher in a windbreaker.

3:48 PM: Well, there's something you want to hear in the middle of your one-woman Derby party:  "Mary Beth, the cop is here, and he's asking for you."

3:54 PM: You are present for the first official time I may truthfully type this:  I apologize that my post was interrupted due to an interview with the police.

3:57 PM: Awwwww. I missed the "Hey, Todd Pletcher, What's It Like to Be the Michelle Kwan- Dan Marino Unholy Love Child of Horse Racing?" feature.  Stupid Huffy-stealing crime wave.

4:00 PM: Official jockey portrait.  This always a sociologically fascinating moment of Derby pre-coverage, because you can totally tell they're trying to figure out how to smile while minimally displaying stomach acid-rotted dental work.

4:08 PM: Escalator of Destiny.

4:09 PM: Joe Talamo, you and your cartoon horse-festooned silks are truly destined for glory.  Richard Simmons just emailed to encourage the stable owners to dress you in a more dignified manner.

4:17 PM: That was a crap-ass call to post, bugler dude.  You broke the Kentucky Derby, bra.

4:18 PM: "My Old Kentucky Home."  If the cops roll up again in the middle of this, I'm filing suit.

4:28 PM: Ladies and gentlemen, Johnny Weir and I hereby bring you the official vergence of  self-adoration, horror, and WTF?

4:29 PM: GARY STEVENS! reveals that he hates the sun.

4:31 PM: Donna reports that American Lion  shied during the screaming following "My Old Kentucky Home."  Is it the drunken singing?  The bowdlerized racism? Bad key for you?  What?

4:32 PM: Go horsies!  Go horsies!

4:32:30 PM: The field stretches out between the quarter pole and a small town in  southern Arkansas.

4:33 PM: Sole filly entrant Devil May Care makes a run, but fades.  Gloria Steinem issues a press release decrying the gender bias inherent in mud.

4:34 PM:

CALVIN BOREL: Remember me, beeoytches?

ALL THE OTHER JOCKEYS: What th-- hey!  You won on the rail?!  Nuh-uh!  Who could have possibly forseen this?

4:34:30 PM: Todd Pletcher has officially justified his existence.  Coming up: The Lifetime miniseries Todd 'n' Super Saver... The  Incredibly Slow, Sloppy Time That Healed a Nation.

4:35 PM: Still  struggling to come to terms with the reality of a Kentucky Derby champion who sounds as if he were named after a sketchy grocery store anchoring a fading strip mall.  Super Saver's got a nail salon on one side and a vacated Hollywood Video on the other, and you only go there when Big Lots! isn't carrying your off-brand of plastic sandwich bags.

4:36 PM: Hard-pressed to top last year's finish line celebration during which he high-fived the entire human race, Calvin Borel settles for sexually assaulting the outrider.

4:37 PM: Borel crying and voice-cracking all over the place.  Donna Brothers misses a choice opportunity to remind him of his still-dead parents, as she did during last year's victory interview, and settles for reproving him for being way too calm about all this.

4:39 PM: NBC preparing "I Cannot Believe Todd Pletcher Has Only Won A Single Kentucky Derby, Doesn't He Suck?:  Fifth in a Series" piece for the 2025 broadcast.  Bob Baffert co-stars.

4:48 PM: It's the "In Case You Missed It" Replay, sponsored by:  Avodart.  Because... you were... peeing?  Due to lack of Avodart?  Or on Avodart, but late for a bra fitting?

4:54 PM: Todd snaps that it "feels awfully good" to win the Kentucky Derby for the first time in, like, eight million starts.  Full stop.  He then glares at the microphone, bracing for the next month's onslaught of  "Why Can't This Total Loser Todd Pletcher Ever Win the Triple Crown"? features.

4:56 PM: All this excitement over winning an' stuff has utterly drained Bob Costas, and he drapes wearily over the rail of the winner's pavilion.  Will this wretched existence of first-class airfare, designer suits, and expense account dinners at the Four Seasons ever end?

This post was brought to you by Calvin Borel, lifelong beneficiary of Awesome Product Placement:



mint juleped  at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (16)

[...] The long-awaited 2010 Kentucky Derby liveblog, complete with actual visit from the cops. Share and Enjoy: [...]

I knew I could count on you MB!! Our local NBC station here interrupted viewing because of weather reports. Oh, fine. So there is massive flooding the likes we have never seen and tornadoes galore... but we're talking the Derby here!! It was back on for the race, but I missed a good part of it. Thanks for keeping us informed!!

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCBell

If all you saw was the race, you missed the bad part of it.

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Great stuff...enjoy my annual trip over to BC to check out your Derby post!

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGeno

Thanks so much-- y'all come back now for the Preakness and Belmont : )

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

And what about the bike? Is there a band of grand-theft-bicycle girl scouts on the loose in your neighborhood?

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterred pill junkie

The Case of the Missing Huffy has been SOLVED.

The landlord took it and didn't tell anybody.

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Whatever happened to the brainless, witty guest Derby commentators?

Which leads us to a Natalie Morales.

The brainless, witless Natalie Morales, of NBC’s Today Show, frantically trying to “fit in” with the Derby broadcast.

Insult to Injury: NM “interviewing” (AHEM…free advertising) with a celebrity clothes designer, who apparently has had no success in trying to civilize the 400+ obscenely obese, dreadfully-clad women at the Saratoga Springs golf course Derby Party.

Thank God their husbands (equally revolting) weren’t in Speedos.

But there was one guy wearing a Panama hat, a dark blue navy jacket, cargo-pants shorts, and Day-Glo White loafers, on the premises.

I think that combination is an honorary Speedo, don’t you?

Oh…did I mention his cigar?

Anyway, which was worse, NM, or The Big Four Hundred?

We’ll never know.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon Reed

Congrats - My wife is reading your Derby Spoof & laughing uproariously.

This happens as about as often as a waiter getting a 15% tip from Tiger Woods!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon Reed

Any time I can beat Tiger Woods at anything is a good day.

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Dear Blondie,

You are the funniest, blah, blah, blah, can't wait to meet yaddah, yaddah, yaddah, (yiddish spelling), Saratoga this summer, more staring and goofey eyeded agoging, blah, blah, blah, drink dadadah blah blah blah water. Meet you at the Big Red Spring at noon on opening day. More gushing and drooling...

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchristopherlally

You have a place to stay in Saratoga, right? Because I don't. I'll probably be sleeping in the fountain.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

I really enjoyed the article.

May 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterroulette

[...] coverage is horrible.  I don’t know what Natalie Morales is wearing, I have no idea who Carrot Top has bet on, and, m... I DEMAND PERTINENT INFORMATION, [...]

[...] 4:50 PM:  Odds are running continuously at the top of the screen, with a countdown clock to post time.  Vast improvement over NBC’s Grand Parade of Hats ‘n’ Crap. [...]

[...] Smith is jogging down to the paddock.  Get there faster, Mike.  The Escalator of Destiny waits for no [...]

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBreeders’ Cup, Part IV:
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