Sport: Assault, by Himself

The mighty roar from 100,000 unparched throats dribbled off into silence. In the Churchill Downs jockey room skinny, Brooklyn-born Warren Mehrtens sponged the dirt off his face. Said he: "I knew I had 'em all at the head of the stretch—and oh, what a wonderful feeling."

From the start of last week's Kentucky Derby, 26-year-old Jockey Mehrtens suspected he had quite a horse under him. For seven furlongs he sat tensely tight—then he began laying the whip into chestnut, Texas-born Assault. An 8-1 white hope whose home base is the 900,-ooo-acre King Ranch of...

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