Gary Player's Kentucky Derby play

Gary Player’s Kentucky Derby play

Gary Player says he knows as much about horse racing as he knows about golf. For the three-time
Masters champion, that’s a lot. But when it comes to picking a winner for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, the only thing Player is sure of is that nobody knows who will win.Player_250 "Big Brown is bred well, Pyro is bred well," Player says of this year’s contenders. "But really they’re all bred well. Horse racing and golf are both similar in that we all know a hell of a lot about nothing."
Player, who has been breeding thoroughbreds in South Africa since he purchased a ranch in 1974, says he follows American racing and will be watching the Derby from his living room on Saturday, though he won’t be wagering on the race.
"Golf and horse racing are both puzzles that don’t have an answer and both are full of contradictions," Player says. "Look at the great champions like Snead, Hogan, Nicklaus and Tiger. They all swing the club very differently."
In horse racing, Player says, the best horses don’t fit into any pattern or magic formula either.
"Take a champion sire like Secretariat — he was a useless stallion," Player says. "You can mate the best stallion with a champion mare and their baby will be a damn dog. But then you put the champion stallion with an ordinary mare and they produce a world champion."
Wise advice from a man with a lifetime of experience. But we’re wondering if Big Truck is worth a small wager. He’s getting the same odds that Player’s fellow South African Trevor Immelman had to win the Masters: 50 to 1.
(Photo: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/

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