Belmont 142 is in the books… I have a few observations, and overall my grade was a B . If you get that without a Triple Crown hopeful, that is good shooting….
First, why change the song? Sinatra would roll over in his grave… Jay-Z, who is a genius, has his song performed by Jasmine Villegas. The new song is: “Empire State of Mind.” I love the quote of: ” I’m the new Sinatra, and since I made it here I can make it anywhere.” It was at that time the TV coverage cut away to a commercial… At that time, I would have watched a tampon commercial, or nude sumo wrestling…. Don’t change the song, PLEEEEEEASE….. What is next ? ” My Old Kentucky Home” will be dueling banjos……
The race went to post at 6:35 EST. It turned out to hold what history has dictated the past quarter century.
#7 Drosselmeyer (13-1) made a bold 5 wide move at the 3/8ths pole, and received a beautiful ride by Mike Smith… He finished the job in the lane, and gave Bill Mott his first Triple Crown victory… Great ride!
#5 Fly Down (5-1) did a good job… Johnny V made one mistake of letting the winner pass him, and then trying to pick him up later. They both were close to the pace, and Fly Down did a smooth job of picking up 4 lengths quickly down the lane. I loved the race, and it turned out to be what I thought it would as far as tactical moves.
#11 First Dude (6-1) lead all the way under a hammer lock, and Ramon Dominguez did an excellent job trying to wire the field. Good job fella, as Todd Palin was somewhere in the stands back from a caribou hunt cheering his name sake….
I had selected per a past blog: Fly Down, First Dude, and Ice Box. I took my selections and boxed them, and then keyed them over the winner, and then put them in second as a back-up play. It didn’t pay what I thought it would as a 13-1, 5-1, and almost a 6-1 shot paid $766 for a $2 trifecta… The 2-1 favorite was off the board in a full field… I won’t cry, but I did put away my tax credentials after seeing the payoff….
The race set up as we felt in our hearts it would. How many really believed that Silky Sullivan would come rolling from dead-last to get the candy? I would have liked to have watched this race, but it wasn’t meant to be….Ice Box is good, and he will return to give us plenty to cheer about in the future. I sure hope he comes back sound….
Other than the song, I have few questions… Was Jerry Bailey on his meds? He asked Ramon Dominguez if he thought it was necessary to ride a race before the Belmont to get a feel for the track. Good question…. Dominguez answered back: “I don’t know Jerry, I just won a race on the turf…” Is he out of his box? Good answer, Ramon… Bailey may have been in the sun too long..
Uptowncharlybrown was the feel good story of the year, as the 50+ owners gathered to watch him run. He returned without his lead pad in the saddle and was DQ’d, as he did not weigh out correctly. I wanted the group to have a great day. I was rooting for them in the back of my heart….
The crowd was solid even though the Triple Crown was not on the line… This just goes to show that racing can be revived. I think the Monmouth Park experiment is like Kool-Aid, and we all need to take a drink…. The race was great. The undercard gave you value, and Nick Zito showed us what unfiltered pain looked like. I hurted for the man through the screen. I guess I could go on with a John Wooden quote about the day, and our sport. I was reading about his passing one page away from the morning edition of the race. I would have liked to have thought if he was a race fan, he would have been happy. The many gave their all, and nobody made excuses. The game is going through a tough time, and yet we summon the focus to do our jobs. Good job everyone, and as Ice Box was sent off an odds on-favorite (just for his running style), and Jerry Bailey showed us that even the best make errors. I loved the day. I sure hope you did, and maybe next year we will see history made. The best part about racing is that tomorrow is another day, and we have a chance to make it happen…. See you at the races…..