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McConnell's Pick: Any Given Saturday

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made his big decision for the year: Any Given Saturday.

Any Given Saturday is McConnell's pick to win tomorrow's 133rd Run for the Roses, better known as the Kentucky Derby. While it may just be a horse race to most of us, the "fastest two minutes in sports" is the biggest non-political political event in the Bluegrass State every year. So McConnell make his pick selectively, hoping to bolster his image back home as the smartest politician in Kentucky.

When Capitol Briefing caught up with McConnell in the Capitol hallways, we hit him with the question that we knew he'd get badgered with all day today and tomorrow down in Louisville.

Proving he doesn't just go with frontrunners, McConnell chose Any Given Saturday, which at the time of this posting is paying 12-1 odds. Several horses offer better odds, so depending on how the betting goes in the next 24 hours, the minority leader could turn a decent profit if his horse comes home to win, place or show.

Capitol Briefing disclaimer: I know nothing about picking horses. Other than my brother Michael and his best friend Vinny Doc, who together have spent way too much time at Philadelphia Park,the only other person I trust picking horses is my buddy Little Griff. (He's not actually very little, but that's another story for another blog.)

So if you lose money on Any Given Saturday, don't blame this blogger. However, a few years back, when he was just the Senate GOP Whip, McConnell saddled up to a few reporters one day and loudly whispered, "Smarty Jones."

A few days later a smiling McConnell declined to mention how much he'd collected on his winning bet on the horse from my beloved Philadelphia. Smarty fell one furlong short at the Belmont Stakes of winning the Triple Crown in 2004.

Truth be told, McConnell confessed that the Derby extravaganza has grown too crazy down in Kentucky, where local and state politicians turn it into a two-week ordeal of parties and fundraisers. He and his wife, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, plan on arriving in Louisville tonight, spending some quiet time there, and then visiting some horse stables with friends tomorrow morning.

In a sign of the times, McConnell apparently is out of the real power loop tomorrow, which will be centered around Queen Elizabeth II's stop at the Derby. "Believe it or not, I'm not getting a private audience with the Queen," McConnell said.

Maybe he'd rate an invite if he were MAJORITY leader...

By Paul Kane  |  May 4, 2007; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Oh, Mr Kane, you're so cruel!
I guess its good that you got the tip about the horse before the Senator had the chance to read this. I'll make a note to disregard the Senator's pick for next year.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | May 4, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Epilogue: Any Given Saturday looked good but finished 8th in a field of 20.

Posted by: Scott in PacNW | May 8, 2007 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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