05/06/2007 11:00PM

Borel to dine with President, queen


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - From the Louisiana bayou to the White House for dinner and a visit with the Queen of England. That's how far Calvin Borel has come.

Borel, who gave a textbook ride in guiding Street Sense to a

2 1/4-length victory Saturday in the 133rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, left Louisville early Monday with his fiancee, Lisa Funk, for a white-tie dinner with President Bush and Queen Elizabeth II later that evening. Borel becomes the first winning jockey in Derby history to be invited to the White House.

A total of 134 guests were scheduled to attend the dinner in the East Room of the State Floor at the White House, according to a Churchill release. Borel's agent, Jerry Hissam, said it was his understanding that Borel also was scheduled to have a "one-on-one" visit with the queen, where they meet in a separate room for conversation. Monday was scheduled to be the last full day in a six-day visit of the United States for Queen Elizabeth II, who attended her first Derby on Saturday.

Borel, 40, grew up under humble circumstances in south-central Louisiana, so the invitation is an incredible honor, said Hissam. Hissam added: "The funny thing is, the first thing Calvin said was, 'I'm supposed to work a bunch of horses Monday morning for Cecil,' " referring to his brother, Cecil Borel, a trainer. "That's the real Calvin right there."

Borel and Funk were scheduled to stay at the luxurious Four Seasons and be in a receiving line at the White House. All accommodations, including attire and other details, were being handled by White House staff. The couple was scheduled to return Tuesday to Louisville.

The state dinner is the sixth for the Bush administration, but the first white-tie affair, according to Churchill. White-tie affairs are the most formal of all functions. Men's attire includes black tailcoat, black pants, and a white shirt, tie, and vest.

Tiago possible for Belmont Stakes

Tiago, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby, will return to Hollywood Park this week and be considered for the $1 million Belmont Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on June 9, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday.

Shirreffs said the Preakness Stakes on May 19 is not under consideration.

"He won't run in the Preakness for sure," Shirreffs said. "There is a possibility for the Belmont. The distance is not a question for him."

The winner of the Santa Anita Derby last month, Tiago finished 10 lengths behind Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby. Tiago was as far back as 18th after six furlongs and passed half the field in the final half-mile.

O'Neill pair won't go to Preakness

Though Doug O'Neill's horses Great Hunter and Liquidity finished 13th and 14th in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Derby Week wasn't a complete loss for the Southern California-based trainer.

At one of the many silent auctions held at functions during Derby Week, O'Neill outbid jockeys Robby Albarado and Calvin Borel for the saddle Borel wore when he guided Street Sense to victory in the Tampa Bay Derby. O'Neill's winning bid was $2,500.

"The first thing I thought was if I buy that then [Borel] is not going to have a saddle,'' O'Neill quipped. "Then I asked, 'Does the horse come with the saddle?' Robby bid it up and Calvin bid it up, and I was so happy at the end of the night that my name came out on top.

"It's a real honor to call those guys friends,'' O'Neill added. "Carl wrote the book on training and Calvin could write a book how to ride the rail.''

On Sunday morning, while Nafzger was holding court outside his barn with the press, O'Neill came up to congratulate him. O'Neill said, "Do you want your Tampa Bay Derby saddle back? It'll only cost you $2,600.''

Meanwhile, O'Neill said that both his horses came out of the Derby in good order and were due to ship back to California on Monday. O'Neill had not yet made plans for either one, but said neither ran a race that suggests he should run in the Preakness.

"Going back to California for a little bit will do all of us good,'' he said.

Just one plane needed for Preakness shippers

The date and time for the Tex Sutton flight that will transport Street Sense and the rest of the Churchill contingent to the May 19 Preakness has not yet been set, Buddy Fife, the Louisville representative for the charter company, said Monday. Fife said the flight will take off on the morning of May 15 or 16.

In some previous years, there have been so many horses going from Louisville for the Preakness and other Pimlico races that two flights have been scheduled, but "it looks like this year we won't have enough horses to do two trips," said Fife.

"We'll take a general consensus about when everybody wants to get there," said Fife. As for Carl Nafzger's preferred date of shipping, Fife said: "He's an automatic about whenever we go. Carl goes with the flow."

Oaks-Derby Double a record low

With favorites Rags to Riches and Street Sense sweeping the Kentucky Oaks and Derby, the Oaks-Derby Double payoff was $23.80 for a $2 bet, the lowest in the 12-year history of the two-day wager. The previous record of $24.80 came in 1997, when Blushing K.D. and Silver Charm - neither of them favorites - were the Oaks and Derby winners.

The handle of $2,309,272 set a record, narrowly eclipsing the $2.2 million bet last year.

Slight premium for future bettors

The victory by Street Sense was the sixth time in the nine-year history of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager that a horse listed as a separate wagering interest in all three pools has won the Derby.

For a $2 wager, Street Sense returned $22.80 in Pool 1, $18.20 in Pool 2, and $15.40 in Pool 3. He paid $11.80 Saturday.

No carryover this time

It has been common in recent years for Derby bettors to leave a nice parting gift for everyday Churchill fans: a massive pick six carryover on the Wednesday following the Derby.

This year, however, the pick six was hit on Derby Day, leaving fans with little more than an ordinary nine-race card anchored by a $52,500 allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Trainer Dale Romans has an uncoupled entry among the field of seven older horses, with Fri Guy, coming out of two graded stakes at Gulfstream, likely to be the favorite.

* The lone stakes this coming weekend is the $100,000 Open Mind, a five-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday.

- additional reporting by Steve Andersen

and David Grening