Money Doesn't Buy Derby Winner

AP Photo

In most professional sports, the balance of power rests with a handful of the richest owners.

At the Kentucky Derby, there is no such balance. It remains one of the event's charms.

Two years ago, a retired schoolteacher from Louisville –— Tom McCarthy –— brought his lone horse to the track against two entries from Godolphin Racing, whose owner, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the ruler of Dubai and then was one of the 100 wealthiest men in the world.

But for two minutes under the Twin Spires, money meant nothing, and the men stood on a level field. There are some New York Yankee-esque figures in thoroughbred spending, but they haven't bought the Derby. Not often, anyway.

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