The Upbeat Times Entertains, Educates & Inspires! A Salute to Horse Racing! the Walters uphill European-

style track was also paying off, as Cav had both the stamina and the will to be one heck of a closer. For you see Bob had set up Vine Hill so his horses were constant- ly training and build- ing

their cardiovas-

cular systems at their own pace, up to the top of the hill for feed and back down to the bottom of the hill for water.

Still, outside of the

Walters, Baffert, and Cavonnier’s Sonoma County fans, the horse racing world had yet to give their Vine

Hill horse his

due. The Kentucky Derby fu- ture book had him way down the list at 75-1 at Caesar’s in Vegas, but we all knew he was better than that. It didn’t mat-

him in the horse racing world). The Santa Anita Derby would change all of that. Heading into Santa Anita the odds makers didn’t see Cav as having much

they stacked him way back in the odds fi eld as a $22 longshot by post time. But the amazing Cav had more than just Baf- fert going for him by now, as

ter what we thought though, he was still a California-bred and a gelding (two strikes against

of a chance against the likes of the great Alyrob, and Honour and Glory. As a matter of fact,

his saddle would be fi lled by one of the best jockey’s in his- tory…Chris McCarron. Baffert advised McCarron to run Cav up close early, but as it turned out both McCar- ron and Cavonnier had a distinctly

(to the eternal thanks of Baffert).

up that morning relaxed and free-wheeling,

different idea Cav showed giv-

early, Cav didn’t chase him and instead he and McCarron settled in behind the leaders, just off the pace. With an eighth of a mile to go, McCarron saw his opening be- hind Alyrob and Honour and Glory, and gave Cav his head and let him sail (fi nishing a hard charging length and three

ing McCarron an almost “We’ve got this” kind of vibe. When Super Min- ing (the longest shot in the race) broke a furious pace

UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • August 2018 • 25 ... continued from page 19

quarters ahead of Alyrob). That backwater

country fair win-

ning horse and the rural mom and pop racing outfi t owned by the Walters were on their way. Now they could buy their Ken- tucky Derby hats. Meanwhile, folks back home were going nuts…a Sonoma County horse was going to the Derby. Under the glare of the nation- al spotlight the Walters were both disarming and delight- ful. How could two folks with the grace and humor of Nick and Nora Charles come from a little

bitty burg out west?

They and their California-bred horses had been underesti- mated before and don’t think it didn’t tickle them a bit that all the glowing national stories were all about the blue-blooded multi-millionaire

trainers and

their deep pedigreed Kentucky contestants. The cameras did love Baffert’s laid-back Cali- ... continued on page 26

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UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • August 2018 • 25

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