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Sports Then and Now



Poetry in Motion as Animal Kingdom Claims Kentucky Derby 21

Posted on May 11, 2011 by Rod Crowley

Graham Motion, the English born trainer of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom could hardly contain his surprise after his outsider hosed up in the ‘Race for the Roses’ in front of a record crowd of over 160,000 at Churchill Downs last weekend. Amazingly it was the horse’s first run on dirt having previously run all his races on turf.

Having only his fourth start, the huge Chestnut colt was only rated at around 20/1 to win America’s most prestigious race, but he looked every bit the winner when he began his surge down the final stretch of the ten furlong race. “It’s not something I ever expected to do,” said Motion a few hours after he had won the race, but he confirmed that the horse had come out of the race in great shape and that he would take his chance in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in three weeks time, for which he’ll sure to be favourite in the Preakness Stakes Odds given the manner of his Derby victory. Success in that race of course will put him in line to win the highly coveted American Triple Crown of horse racing, should he take part in the Belmont Stakes two weeks later.

The win was also a huge bonus for jockey, John Velazquz, who got the ride after the one time race favorite Uncle Mo was withdrawn from the race. It was Velaquez’s first win in the ‘Derby’ in thirteen previous attempts and he now looks like staying on the horse for the Preakness. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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