President Bill Clinton Picks Outwork to win 2016 Kentucky Derby
I snapped my neck back to the left with my usual self-important who dares interrupt my work scowl. There were enough photographers moonwalking into Heine Bros. coffee in Downtown Louisville that I knew someone important was about to walk into the corner shop across the street from the Seelbach Hotel.
I actually recognized the voice before I recognized him since he was hard to make out among the crowd, but that was President Bill Clinton getting a cup of decaf with Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Clinton posed with the baristas then faced the crowd as he tossed his gum. That’s when I seized the moment of a brief pause.
“Mr. President! Who’s your pick to win the Kentucky Derby.”
“I’m going with Outwork,” he said confidently. Grimes then also advised him not to leave out Brody’s Cause whose trainer, Dale Romans, is the father of Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Bailey Romans.
I then told Clinton that I made my first trip to Oaklawn Park this year, and he regaled the crowd with how much he loved going there both with his mom and as governor of Arkansas. He called Oaklawn “a magical place” that gave him “a lot of power” because legislators from both sides of the aisle would clamor for passes to the track’s biggest races.
He also gave a shout out to his friend Jerry Crawford for beating Triple Crown champion (and Arkansas Derby winner) American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes with Donegal Racing’s Keen Ice.
Then just like that he was gone. The din moved on. The memory lingers and is very satisfying.