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Kentucky Derby Blooper

On May 4, 1957, legendary jockey Willie Shoemaker rode Gallant Man in that year's Kentucky Derby. As Gallant Man thundered down the homestretch, just ahead of Iron Liege, Shoemaker stood up in his saddle to celebrate victory at the 16th pole. Unfortunately, the finish line at Churchill Downs is marked by the 17th pole. Gallant Man lost his stride and Iron Liege won by a nose.

"I hadn't been to Churchill Downs in a while," Shoemaker later remarked, "so I forgot the finish line was further down the stretch." This excuse rang hollow in certain ears. On the morning of the race, Gallant Man's owner had told Shoemaker about a strange dream which he had had -- in which Shoemaker blew the Derby by misjudging the finish line!

[Shoemaker naturally dismissed the man as a nut.]

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