What does the Kentucky Derby Have to Do With Self Improvement?

derby-win1by Irene Conlan –

The winning horse, Mine that Bird, was a longshot. He paid 50 to 1 and no one expected him to win. He is a gelding. His trainer had never won a Derby. The announcer said the jockey, Calven Boral, was riding because that’s the only horse available for him to ride (I can’t find a news story that confirms this, however, so let’s assume for the story’s sake that it’s true). There is absolutely no reason that Mine that Bird would win.

He came from 20 lengths behind and absolute last place and ran to a 6¾-length victory over a sketchy collection of competitors. “By all that makes sense in racing, he had no right doing so” said one reporter.

But he did win. If you haven’t seen it, watch the video.

So what does this have to do with self improvement? Everything. The horse was ready. The jockey was ready. He knew the horse liked to run by the rail and when he saw an opening he took it. The horse and jockey worked as a team and won. Nobody else thought they had a chance. They knew they did.

It’s about spirit, spunk, taking risks.

It’s about believing you can win against all odds.

In the long run, long shots pay out more.

So if you’re a long shot, keep on keeping on and then, when you see your chance, take it and give it all you’ve got.


  • Excellent comparison. It is all about spirit, energy, passion.

    It’s our affirmative energy which makes things happen for us. The only reason we haven’t achieved everything we want in life is because we have created some negative blockage which has dissipated our positive energy.

    Keep your energy high, improve yourself everyday, and heed your intuition, your own private, unerring counsel. When you’ve passed the persistence test you’ll be rewarded with the spoils.

    Thanks for sharing your insight 🙂


  • I watch the Kentucky Derby every year but this one was the most fun so far. I loved how the jockey was so open about his feelings. I agree with you he sure has spunk! He really was tuned in to the horse and how to handle 3 year olds too. I loved when he said, “I just hollered at him and he took off.”

    Thanks for sharing your input on the whole race too.

    Self-improvement Coach

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