June 2, 2009, 4:00 pm Borel Has a Little Ali in Him
By Joe Drape
Calvin Borel not only refused to back off his guarantee that the Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird will capture the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, but he even borrowed a Muhammad Ali verse to add some panache on his declaration.
“When he sings, he sings,” Borel said, mangling Ali’s signature “sting like a bee” line.
Borel, however, was clear-headed enough to parry a tougher question. Shortly after watching replays of Rachel Alexandra — whom he was riding — just barely hold off Mike Smith on Mine That Bird in the final strides of the Preakness Stakes, Borel was asked if he had ridden Mine That Bird, would the gelding have caught the superfilly.
Borel was at Madison Square Garden Tuesday afternoon, where he was reminded that Ali had won quite a few fights there. Neither the Greatest nor Kanye West has anything to fear from Borel’s rhymes.