Special Report

streetsensewinsthederby.jpg[Although not strictly a financial event, the Kentucky Derby is a favorite among many hedge fund traders who are constantly on the look-out for for uncorrelated returns and exposure to hidden upsides. It’s actually a bit surprising that more of Greenwich’s royalty haven’t gone into the horse racing business yet. We asked John Carney to file this report on the Derby.]
I sat on the back porch of my parents’ Westchester home watching my forearms turn pink in the spring sun. It was the first Saturday in May and the house was full of guests for the annual Kentucky Derby party. Beside me, on a slight wicker chair my mother had purchased at an auction in the Catskills, sat Katherine, her restless legs stretching out from within her Tory Burch tennis whites, talking about how she financed the sixth-year of her undergraduate education. I closed my eyes and felt the heat of the sun against their lids, and smelled the bourbon and mint and burnt nicotine in the air.
“I raffled off a motorcycle. A 1946 Indian. A real classic. The tickets were beautiful. Works of art really. Each had a full color picture of the Indian, and the picture was taken in the badlands of South Dakota. There was not a man alive who wouldn’t see himself riding through that weird landscape past herds of semi-wild buffalo toward a rally in Stirges. We sold close to two thousand tickets, at five dollars a piece,” Katherine said.
“Fantastic. Where did you get the bike?” I asked.
“You have too little imagination, John. There was no bike. There never was a bike. Or, rather, the bike exists, the picture was real, but I never had such a beautiful thing to raffle off.”
“Weren’t you worried you would get caught?”
“I never worry about such things. Who could catch me? Only the winner. He was the only injured party, and the only person who needed to be told that he could not have the bike. I gave him his five dollars back, and thus made him whole. What else could he ask for? This drink is fantastic, by the way.”

Read more »