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Monday, February 25, 2013
Please repeat

By Jay Cronley
Special to

Horse race announcer Trevor Denman seems to have peripheral vocals.

He can, with that fine South African accent, describe what's happening on various sides of a horse race simultaneously, noting unused potential and flame outs almost before they happen. He makes each race sound like the elegant black and white scene out of "My Fair Lady."

Only a refined British accent can make a $5,000 claiming race seem proper.

We like our European-type accents don't we; at least the executives who hire race horse announcers and analysts with accents like them.

Not all British-South African-Scottish-variety accents come across as smoothly as Trevor Denman's. Some entry-level accents even sound milked, with certain words and phrases sounding more British than is necessary.

Some horse players find themselves wondering what that person on television just said.

When something seems to change meaning because of an accent, a lot of the problem has to do with the letter "o," lost, for example.

"He's lost around the turn."

That doesn't mean the horse doesn't know where it is.

It means the horse is last.

Here's one that took me a while to figure out recently.

"It was a thud on the tough."

There was no accident, no jockey falling on a horse, no horse landing on a rider.

Here's what happened.

A horse coming to a grass race had recently finished third in a similar encounter.

Thud on the tough: third on the turf.

Here are some words that made me reconsider what I had just heard over the course of the weekend.

"Ten dies is a lot."

Dies: days. Ten days is a lot.

"The whiting really hurt him."

Whiting: waiting. The waiting hurt.

"He's good on the dart."

Dart: dirt. On the dirt.

"The rile is quick."

Rile: rail. The rail is quick.

"At least he's on the bard."

Bard: board. On the board.

"He showed a lot of hot."

Hot: heart. Lot of heart.

The Kentucky Derby road got bumpier over the weekend, as those who didn't like Revolutionary were financially troubled by Orb. Here's another horse race media favorite that didn't ring true as it relates to Normandy Invasion fans. If you like one horse that won or lost by a nose in a particular race, you have to like the other close-up finishers as well. Here's another option. Forget them all.

Continued good lock.

Lock: luck.

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