What did the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs on September 22 tell us?…Never count out Calvin Bo-Rail beneath the twin spires.

The crafty Cajun jockey has long been a rider that can get the most out of a long shot. With a penchant for saving ground and moving along the inside, Borel has successfully navigated the Downs dirt on more than just a few occasions. With over 5,000 career victories, he knows the way to the winner’s circle. The ones that immediately come to mind are Seek Gold (99 to 1) in the 2006 Stephen Foster and Mine That Bird (50 to 1) in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

So fast-forward to a rainy afternoon on September 22 and Borel is breaking from the gates on a 51 to 1 shot. The Buff Bradley trained Divine Queen was coming into the seven furlong race for three year old fillies in great shape, but was seriously overlooked at the windows. When the bell sounded and the race began to unfold it was a case of Calvin being Calvin. Getting his mount to relax, Borel turned for home and saw an opening along the rail. In customary fashion, the veteran rider did what he does and accelerated through the opening to the finish line.

Anytime a big long shot wins its exciting whether you backed them or not. To see Borel in the irons when it happens should come as no real surprise. This wasn’t the first hair-raising ride for Calvin and I’m sure it will not be his last.

“Calvin gave her a perfect ride,” says Buff Bradley. “We knew she had been training well and Calvin made it happen.”