We have some thoughts on the recently completed Triple Crown, but they aren’t dissimilar from those of Ray Paulick, and he probably doesn’t have poison ivy all over both hands…

By Ray Paulick

This was a Triple Crown for the little guys, and I’m not talking about jockeys.

We had a Kentucky Derby won by a 50-1 longshot, Mine That Bird, a gelding that once sold for $9,500 as a yearling. He was trained by Bennie L. “Chip” Woolley Jr., a black hat wearing cowboy from New Mexico who some years early befriended Mark Allen, one of Mine That Bird’s owners, in a bar fight. The trainer had saddled just one winner this year before the Derby. Anyone outside of New Mexico who knew him was probably a relative.

The Preakness was won by Rachel Alexandra, a filly bred by Dolphus Morrison, a retired businessman from Alabama with a modest breeding and racing operation. That’s right, Alabama, not exactly horse country. But it puts an addendum on the old adage that a good horse can come from anywhere. So can a good horse breeder, and Morrison has enjoyed success as a breeder even before Rachel Alexandra became a national star.

The Belmont winner, Summer Bird, was bred and owned by a couple from India who are retired medical professionals. Dr. Kalarikkal Jayaraman was a cardiologist and wife Vilasini was a pathologist who discovered a love of horse racing in Arkansas and eventually bought a farm in Ocala, Fla., where Kalarikkal Jayaraman trains the young horses before sending them to the racetrack. Summer Bird’s trainer, Tim Ice, is in his first year as a head trainer. His earliest memories of racing come from Waterford Park in West Virginia, a track that used to be the poster child for the leaky roof circuit until West Virginia got slot machines and the track was transformed into Mountaineer Park.

The only “spoiler” in the little guy Triple Crown was Jess Jackson, a billionaire winemaker from California who bought Rachel Alexandra from Morrison and a partner after her 20 ¼-length win in the Kentucky Oaks….

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(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)