Listening to Rodney Paine talk about why he emigrated from Australia to the United States, you might be forgiven for at first regarding him as just a touch naïve.
“The Kentucky Derby always intrigued me,” he said, sitting in the jockeys’ room at Aqueduct last weekend. “I thought it would be neat to take a horse there.”
Neat, indeed, and the hope of owners, trainers, exercise riders, grooms, and jockeys across the country, not all of whom uproot their lives to chase an improbable dream, as Paine did.
“It’s one of the reasons I came to America,” he said, in all seriousness. “To take a horse to the Kentucky Derby.”
And this week, that is exactly what he’s doing.
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