Saturday, May 7

JERRY BAILEY: ABOARD "HIGH FLY" IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY

If you've read my preceding post on my pick to win this year's Kentucky Derby, you know that one of the main reasons I like "High Fly" is because the veteran jockey Jerry Bailey is aboard for the punishing two minute run around the one and a quarter mile track. Here's a nice story on him.

If, indeed, this is Jerry's last Derby, than it would be poetic justice for him to win his third and go out in style!

With a full field of 20 horses expected, he knows even his best-laid plans can be derailed by a bad trip over 1¼ miles.

“I compare it to walking midtown Manhattan with a backpack on,” he said. “The less amount of times you have to bump people and stop and start, the easier it is on you to get through the crowd.”

“It’s the same with the horses,” he added. “The smoother and friendlier trip that you provide them with, the more energy they’ll have to finish the race. It’s more important to have a trouble-free trip, at least the first half-mile.”

If his horse is game and Bellamy Road isn't a Secretariat in the making, as many are saying, than Jerry Bailey is just the jockey to give High Fly a smooth, friendly trip until it's time to hit the accelerator in the home stretch.

The question is: will the after-burners fire?