Sunday, May 06, 2007

Worst to first at the Derby

If you like sports in the least bit, Saturday was one of those days with great events.

The NHL Playoffs had two games with the Ottawa Senators sending the N.J. Devils home for the summer. Lou Lamorillo is as good a general manager in the NHL, but this year he made a huge mistake in firing his coach before the playoffs. I know it has worked for him before, but sometimes you have to trust the folks you hire. Mmmm... sounds like advice for another GM I know in the Southeast. ESPN's E.J. Hradek has a good piece on Canada's last hope.

In Detroit, the Red Wings took a 3-2 lead over the San Jose Sharks but lost Mathieu Schneider for the rest of the playoffs with a broken wrist. The Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom took aim at one mistake changing the game in the Wings favor.

On the hardwood - the Detroit Pistons killed the Chicago Bulls in the first game of what should be a hard fought series. And my neighbor, Matt Harpring, and his Utah Jazz continue their playoff run after knocking off the Houston Rockets on the road in a game seven.

It's always a good night when there's a big fight. Not many of them anymore. It was a good one, not a great one. Neither Oscar De La Hoya or Floyd Mayweather hurt the other - but it was a chess match - waiting for the other man to make a mistake. It went 12 rounds and the decision for Mayweather was fair in my eyes, but neither man stood head and shoulders above the other. Not sure that I would pay for a rematch of the two men - but it at least went past two rounds. That is what happens when I buy a fight.'s Chris Mannix says that no matter what the talk was after the fight, a rematch will probably happen.

Now for the highlight of the day, this year's Kentucky Derby not only had 20 horses, thousands of stars - it also had the Queen of England in the stands.

Street Sense pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in racing history. The Derby winner came from 19th place on the backstretch to win the race. If you have seen the race, did you even see where Street Sense came from? The overhead video is spectacular and you can see how Calvin Borel pulled off the ride of his life.

What is amazing to me is that Borel stuck to his game plan of riding the rail almost the entire race. ESPN's Pat Forde talks about how Borel is one of us and he is now one of the greats.

On the turn to the homestretch, Borel stuck to the rail and passed 13 horses in about 5 seconds... watch the video again and count them. It was remarkable that NO ONE boxed him out on the rail - the seas parted and Borel pulled Street Sense to third as they turned for home. The next thing you know, Street Sense found a new gear and was gone.

It will be fun to watch the Preakness to see if Street Sense can go 2-for-2. Hard Spun had the lead until the turn for home and hung on for Place. Curlin got off to a bad start and finished Show. With less horses in Baltimore, these three should fight it out again.

Sunday looks to be good with Tiger in the hunt at the Wachovia and the Rangers looking to fight off elimination. More importantly, Abbie has her first dance recital. This should be a trip!

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