Before we get started, I must congratulate my boy Giant Oak. If you are a common reader of my blog, you totally understand why =)
"Daniel Sullivan, president of the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation, announced that Giant Oak
has been selected its 2009 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old
male. The son of Giant’s Causeway is a homebred campaigned by the
Virginia H. Tarra Trust." -- Full Article Here
Chief Party Officer!:
While checking the Blood-Horse Facebook page, I noticed a group request for a neat idea. "We want Shaun White for Kentucky Derby Infield Chief Party Officer."
Naturally my mind starts running with the idea, as running with ideas seems to happen too often with me. Shaun White would be a great ambassador to obtain for the sport. Reach the American's Hearts, reach the younger generations, reach...well... to be honest all aspects of racing that we want to grow.
Who else could we ask to be such a role model and Chief Party Officer (CPO)?
Before we go off on that tangent, lets discuss the history of the CPO. Traditionally Churchill Downs hosts a competition where people nominate themselves via video, go through interviews and emerge a winner. Then they are given the privilege of helping in setting up the infield festivities and leading the infield charge Kentucky Derby day.
The suggestion of recruiting a CPO, such as Shaun White, takes away from the principal of appealing to the community to draw interest. I do like the competition and using the Kenucky Derby fan base, but with the industry hurting in several places, maybe something new would not hurt this year.
I think the end result of taking a young, positive personality of celebrity status would gain more weight in the long run.
I first thought our own Stable-tacular from the hit show And They're Off could represent the infield, but he might be working at that time.
The next thought was also great. Rob Dyrdek. I wrote a blog about Rob a while back. He is a supporter of Thoroughbred racing and is active in California. Rob has huge appeal and reach, is a good guy, knows how to put on a show, can use his MTV/DreamFactory connections for young audience development and he knows something about horses. Watch an episode about his horse racing experience here.
Talk about a television presence, cultural presence, and opportunity.
So let me ask again, who else would be a great CPO?
Weekend Races Recap abridged.
I was really impressed with Stay Put's rush at the end of the Risen Star. Drosselmeyer and Ron the Greek made enough of an impression to retain their place on my personal list. Though both are at the 'tail' end.
Conveyance with Martin Garcia aboard won the Southwest Stakes. Calvin Borel worked out Conveyance to prep for the Southwest. That is DEFINITELY something to remember if Calvin takes this mount come Derby Day. Dublin looked okay and I want to research and keep an eye on Cardiff Giant. Cardiff Giant doesn't scream any major reason to pick him for a Kentucky Derby prospect, but I liked how he ran.
Eskendereya...the leading pick from the first Haskin Dozen. Jackson Bend is still over hyped in my opinion. Jackson Bend is a great horse, but I picked Eskendereya to beat him in the Fountain of Youth. I did like Ice Box's run as well. I pick Zito's Ice Box over his other horses. Then again I liked Pyro a lot as well, both are by Pulpit. Eskendereya is by Giant's Causeway, so of course he was an instant pick when I first heard of him in January.