An Athlete I’d Like to Meet: Pants on Fire at the Kentucky Derby Horse Race

Do you have a favorite athlete you’d love to meet? Maybe go out to dinner with him and then ask for an autograph afterward? That would be tough for me, unless I’m willing to eat oats and settle for a hoof print, because the one I’d like to know is Pants On Fire, a thoroughbred slated to run in the Kentucky Derby horse race.

What does Pants On Fire mean to me? I love horses. I’ve been bitten, bucked off, bounced off, stepped on, and given dirty looks by horses, but I love them anyway. In addition, I love watching a horse race. As a teenager, many times I’d sit with my future father-in-law (who has since passed away) and watch a race on TV. Naturally, we considered a horse race like the Kentucky Derby as prime viewing, and cheered for our favorite horses during it. I remember watching Secretariat run in a horse race … and wondering why the owners didn’t name him something that sounded more like a horse and less like a piece of furniture. And even though Pants On Fire’s pedigree goes back to Seattle Slew and not Secretariat, I feel a connection to him. I admire the way he looks while running, the steadiness in his gait, the way he puts his heart into the race. His recent $1million win at the Louisiana Derby horse race was beautiful to watch, especially when he finished the race a neck ahead in 1:49.92.

In what setting would I like to meet Pants On Fire? There’s naturally only one logical answer to this. Why meet a racehorse at the stable, or at the practice track? The place to meet Pants On Fire is when he prances into the winner’s circle after the Kentucky Derby horse race. Nothing could be better than to be there with such a beautiful thoroughbred, with cameras clicking and Pants On Fire draped in red roses.

If Pants On Fire could speak, what questions would I ask of him? Even though Pants On Fire and I don’t speak the same language, there are a couple of questions I’d ask him. Does he have a winner’s heart, like Secretariat? Or the genes, passed on from winners before him? Does he have the stamina, strength, and will-to-win that it takes to go the distance, round the home stretch ahead of the pack and win the trophy? Then, my last question to Pants On Fire would be whispered in his ear so that when he answered, no one else would know what I’d asked, “Are you going to win the Triple Crown … and how much should I bet?”

Richard Rosenblatt, “No Lie: Pants On Fire on AP’s Top 10 Derby List ,”
The Sports Network, “Pants On Fire erupts to win Louisiana Derby,”