Belmont Stakes Day, 2008

Jun 9th 2008 10:19 pm |

“This was perhaps the ultimate proof that the Triple Crown must be approached with the utmost respect.” — “Trainer Dutrow eats crow after Big Brown busts at Belmont”, Pat Forde, ESPN.COM

Big Brown proved on Saturday that the racing gods are alive and well and as nasty as ever to those with short memories and disrespect for the great history of the game. Heading home from Belmont on Saturday (at a steady 10mph across the Belt Parkway) it occurred to me that Big Brown’s failure to win the Triple Crown was nowhere near the disappointment of Smarty Jones Belmont miss in 2004. The reasons are obvious. While I was pulling for the horse, the arrogance of his connections made the result easy to swallow. I’m not the only one, as many seem to be breathing a sigh of relief, as opposed to expressing disbelief, at the inexplicable performance of Rick Dutrow’s horse.

Here are some photographs from Saturday:

Early bird claims his spot
The calm before the storm
The camera stand that spooked Big Brown? (Read the story here)
The trophy table
Spots in the shade….good thinking
The crowd a few hours before the big race
Thors Echo on track for the True North (one of my many losers on the day)
Filing onto the turf for the Manhattan
Better Talk Now gets a push into the gate
Big Brown gets his head in front of Da’Tara for the last time heading towards the gate
Crowd tries to figure out “what the hell just happened” after the Belmont Stakes
The winner’s circle
Nick Zito and Alan Garcia pose with their rich friends
Nick Zito, Mike Lupica, Steve Haskin, and Robert LaPenta exiting the winner’s circle
The (presumably) self-appointed Miss Belmont Stakes tries to make sense of it all

The end…even with a difficult day at the windows and an anti-climatic Belmont Stakes it was a great Saturday. It was hot and crowded but an excellent day of racing. Their is nothing like watching the races with a real crowd.

This Triple Crown season made me appreciate how good it was last year. Let’s hope for a more competitive (and less controversial) crop in 2009. Looking forward to Saratoga…I will be there opening weekend. Back to the history posts next week, I am working on a piece about the Havre de Grace racetrack that I promised a few weeks ago. Thanks for reading…

Filed in Belmont Park,Garcia, Alan,Thors Echo

Question? Email me at kevin[{AT}]