“It is beautiful when the horses themselves appear, in their ignorance and their majesty, and assert their presence amid all this crappiness. ‘Oh Horse, Horse, Horse,’ wrote D.H. Lawrence in a letter, ‘when you kick your heels you shatter an enclosure every time,’ and now I know just what he means. Only those with souls most thoroughly hollowed out by fame fail to turn and watch the three-year-olds when they take their slow lap around the paddock. And the jockeys! Who could not love a sport with its own paid battalion of wee men, their bright, gay silks, their young faces, their ambiguous quasi-midgetry. We have had to evolve a special race of human beings, when you think about it, so that the thoroughbreds may have riders.”—John Jeremiah Sullivan, on the 2002 Kentucky Derby, in “Horseman, Pass By,” Harper’s, October 2002 issue
Congratulations to Justify for winning this year’s Kentucky Derby!
(The image accompanying this post, of California Chrome at the 2014 Kentucky Derby, was taken by Bill Brine and created on May 7, 2014.)