Monday, April 26, 2010

Daily Kentucky Derby Hype Meme: Eskendereya's Withdrawal

We're generally pretty harsh on the media making mountains of either molehills or irrelevant topics, so for today's Hype Meme, we're going to give credit where it's due: the vast majority of articles on the Derby in the last 24 hours have been about morning line favorite Eskendereya being declared from the race with an injury. This is a pretty big story--it's not only the 2nd straight year that the favorite isn't going to run in the race due to a last minute injury (I Want Revenge scratched last year 9 hours before the Derby), but it has a cascade effect on every other horse's odds. Lookin at Lucky and Sidney's Candy are now going to be solid favorites, and longshots like Homeboykris and Paddy O'Prado won't be as long odds as they would have been had Eskendereya sucked in 30% of the wagering.

While we give the press credit for giving the story the attention it deserves, we can't help but note that they're also using the scratch to dig up storylines that we already noted were overhyped. In this piece, not only does the Times tell the impact of Eskendereya's scratch on the race, they manage to get in shots at Pletcher and Zayat for their Derby record and bankruptcy. The Associated Press did exactly the same thing. Even the Derby's website went a bit over the top in needling Pletcher for his losing streak.

We were going to give this our first actual 1 out of 10 on the Hype Scale, but the media's insistence on lambasting Pletcher and Zayat when they're down has made us re-think this. For now then, let's give it a 2.5, and hope they keep it up.


Teddy said...

The interesting part will be how much coverage Esky pulls during the pre-race telecast. They could either ignore him and focus on the horses who will be running, or turn the whole thing into a 10-minute Pletcher-is-cursed puff piece, thus killing two memes wih one stone.

I have my suspicions about which way they'll go.

rk said...

If only LeAnne Rimes is the one giving the report....

Maybe En Vogue doing a tribute montage?

El Angelo said...

Last year there was a good amount of talk about I Want Revenge and Quality Road (the other big horse that didn't make the Derby) during ESPN's telecast of the undercard, but not much about either in the actual NBC broadcast, outside of acknowledging that the morning line favorite had been scratched, a la AP Indy. Don't worry, they'll have enough chances to pick on Pletcher--he has 4 or 5 more horses running.