This year was the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby. There was a lot of anticipation, as there often is. More so this year after 2 years of change due to the pandemic. It’s always exciting to watch (for me, anyway) and I love to hear the stories of the horses, trainers, owners and jockeys. Then I make my guess as to who the winner will be.
The race this year certainly did not disappoint. It was an exciting race with unexpected results. History making results, as a matter of fact.
The winner of the race came in to the running at 80-1 odds. There were 20 horses in the race and that put him at the longest shot of any horse on the track. Even more, he almost didn’t even have the opportunity to have THOSE odds. He only had the opportunity to run because another horse scratched. And that was at the last minute.
He was trained by a trainer that had never had a Derby appearance. He was ridden by a jockey who had never ridden in the Derby. And once the race started, he was not out in front. In fact, coming into the final stretch he was solidly in the middle of the pack.
And then he started moving. The jockey who had never ridden in the Derby weaved and threaded his way through more experienced riders riding horses that were all supposed to have a better shot of winning. And when the jockey called for more power and speed, the horse delivered. And then some. The announcer didn’t even notice him coming until he was almost at the finish line.
The winner was a horse that did not start in the best position, was not the biggest, was not considered the best, was not the most expensive and faced long, LONG odds of crossing the finish line first. And yet he did, becoming the second-biggest longshot winner in Derby history.
We all have times in life when we are faced with adversity. When it seems like the whole world is against us. When we may feel that there is absolutely NO WAY that what we dream and desire will ever come true.
At those times, I want you to think about a little chestnut horse who defied every single odd to become a champion. You see, it’s not about having every advantage. It’s not about never facing a challenge. It’s about having the heart, the dedication and the belief to show up and give your all to something that you really want.
What a wonderful life lesson learned from a Kentucky Derby winner.