My brother and his family called me up about an hour before the race. I picked up the phone and said "Hey! What’s up?"
"It’s Kentucky Derby Day and we were thinking of you," his wife replied. "How’s THAT for an excuse to call?"
From there we proceeded to catch up – and had a conversation about my brother's new job, coaching his son’s baseball team, and who I liked in the Derby.
My pick was Normandy Invasion – who, turning for home, took the lead at 9-1 and looked for a moment like he might go on. But as fate would have it, he had been too close to a fast pace, and began to show the effects of that pace as soon as he was confronted by Orb.
It’s Kentucky Derby Day – and I’m tearing up tickets once again.
But on this day I am not just a bettor.
Watching the Florida Derby – and now Kentucky Derby - winner, Orb, walk back to be unsaddled – flicking his ears, overstepping, and looking every bit like he wants to go around the track again – some "switch" deep in my inner core flips to the "on" position.
On this day I am more than just a bettor.
I am a fan.