This past week's Democratic debate in South Carolina was a tune-up for 2008's main event: The Denver Derby, where, in August of that year, the party will choose its front-runner. Yes, the Denver Derby; the most exciting sixteen months in politics, the run for the poseurs. This contest is for thirty-five year olds and upward, foaled in the United States and ready for a step up in class.
But unlike the Kentucky Derby's Churchill Downs, the debate site was more like Chamberlain Park; with all eight runners streaking toward the appeasement of our enemies. Still, unless there are any late entries, one of this field will stand a good chance at competing for the coveted Commander-In-Chief Trophy.
Like any race, it is not always the swift who carry off the prize. Breeding, experience, stamina and training go a long way toward the making of a champion. So grab a mint julep, get ready to sing "My Old Kentucky Home" and enjoy the first jewel in the Triple Crown while yours truly handicaps the Denver Derby.
Name: Hillary Clinton
Foaling State: Illinois
Silks: Black, Pink Sash with Red, White and Blue Cap
Trainer: Riady Racing LLC
Odds: 3 to 1
Skinny: This mare was originally out of the Rodham Stables, although her name no longer reflects this. She broke her maiden as a co-entry with future gelding Bill Clinton in 1992 White House Stakes Race. She won the Empire State Distaff in 2000 after Rudy Giuliani was a late scratch in the main event. Definitely an inside mover but a stumble in the Iraq Futurity may have cost her.
Prediction: A show, at best.
Name: Christopher J. Dodd
Foaling State: Connecticut
Silks: Sandinista Red and Black with Olive Drab Castro Cap
Trainer: Hartford Investment & Insurance Lobby Farms
Odds: 30 to 1
Skinny: This former stable-mate of 2004 also-ran Joe Lieberman is a perennial favorite on the Nutmeg circuit, but can only perform on local tracks. Disregard the dosage index, as his sire ran as an anti-Communist moderate, but this runner shows no hint of it.
Prediction: Will soon be put to stud at the Northeastern Liberal Presidential Candidates Retirement Farm.
Name: John Edwards
Foaling State: South Carolina
Silks: White with Red Cross Marking on Back, Flashing Red Ball on Cap
Trainer: Crossing Over Stables
Odds: 5 to 1
Skinny: Stumbled out of gate in 2004 before recovering to run on the coattails of European circuit favorite John F. Kerry. The talent of his grooms aside, don't disregard this entry's other attributes; his ability to channel dead children and raise the sick from wheelchairs could well propel him to the winner's circle in the Snake Oil Stakes should his bid here fail.
Prediction: Worth a possible exacta play with Bill Richardson on top.
Name: Al Gore
Foaling State: District of Columbia
Silks: Subject to Post-Time Decision By Trainer
Trainer: Gaia Stabling & Carbon Futures Trading LLC
Odds: 7 to1
Skinny: This veteran runner is a favorite of longtime railbirds who remember his loss by a nose in the 2000 Derby. Although he is not an official entrant in this race, his handlers report that he is fit and ready, having spent the last few seasons dancing around the truth.
Prediction: Carrying too much baggage. Will never leave the paddock.
Name: Dennis Kucinich
Foaling State: Ohio
Trainer: Move On Racing
Odds: Off the Board
Skinny: This plucky perennial, who always seems suspect from a class perspective, is nonetheless a worthy entrant who will serve as a pacer for the rest of the field. A winner of the Daily Kos Claiming Cup, he will push the other runners far to the rail of world peace.
Prediction: Out of the running but happy.
Name: Barack Obama
Foaling State: Hawaii
Trainer: Tyro Farms
Odds: 3 to 1
Skinny: Despite his lack of seasoning, the rumor around the barn is that he's worth a look. An inexperienced colt in a veteran field, he must add blinkers and mud caulks should a two-horse race develop with Hillary Clinton.
Prediction: In too deep this time out, but look for his return to this venue as a three-year old.
Name: Bill Richardson
Foaling State: California
Silks: Kelly Green, Fort Knox Gold and Wedding Gown White A's Cap
Trainer: Whitewater Racing & Development Corp.
Odds: 9 to 1
Skinny: Like his chances at this distance. His experience on foreign turf will enhance his chances with Turtle Bay backers. His Hispanic breeding is also a bonus for those not yet ready to invest in the mare or yearling in this contest.
Prediction: Says here, this is the favorite.
(Note: The odds quoted are here.)
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