The Brock Talk

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Thoughts, Comments And Questions About The Belmont Stakes

The curse of the big sandy struck again when 11-1 longshot Summer Bird ran past the three favorites in deep stretch to win the 141st running of the Belmont Stakes. Summer Bird's victory lifted on heck of a big monkey off the back of winning jockey Kent Desormeaux, who missed two chances at the Triple Crown by not winning the 1998 Belmont on Real Quiet and again last year on Big Brown.

Dunkirk survived a steward's inquiry after the race and a stretch run against favorite Mine That Bird to get second while the later finished third. Charitable Man was fourth.

But the race emphasized just how difficult it is this marathon of a race. We will never know if Mine That Bird took Calvin Borel closer to the leaders too early as the jockey explained after the race, or if Borel misjudged his timing, so many great jockeys before him I might add, and compromised his chances at a personal Triple Crown.

Mine That Bird did look a bit tightly wound when shown by ABC making the walk from the stable area to the saddling paddock, but really no more energetic than he did waltzing onto the stage at Pimlico three weeks ago. But for some reason, despite announcer Tom Durkins description, Mine That Bird simply didn't fire when and like he did at Churchill Downs in the Derby or again in the Preakness.

It was a dissappointing loss for many who were pulling for Mine That Bird, including the throngs of New York racing fans that were wearing cowboy hats in his honor. In fact, it is believed that there hasn't been that many cowboys at a New York city event since the Dennis Weaver/McCloud fan club disbanded in the early 1980s.

Something tells me that Mine That Bird will return as a dangerous foe when he returns to the customary one-mile ovals of most North American tracks.

More Thoughts, Comments and Questions.
The best line of the day came from ESPN's Kenny Mayne (of course) when he said being a maiden is worse than being a virgin because a maiden hasn't even won a horse race... The worst line(s) of the day of course, came from Hank Goldberg of the same broadcast team. He took two stabs at trying to tell the story about his conversation with jockey Jeremy Rose (once on the ESPN pre-Belmont telecast, and then again on the ABC telecast.) Take three. My favortite and most uncomfortable Goldberg moment was when Goldberg was describing the other Derby and Preakness horses that had not made it to the Belmont saying the series knocked-off others... knocked-out the others... I'm glad he stopped there... Wasn't the story about racing vernacular in our every day lives a good one?... Wasn't the feature with Kenny Mayne and Chip Woolley in the pick-up truck a bad one. Even with Woolley doing an admirable job it was bad... My wife came up with a interesting thought on the popularity of the horses in this Triple Crown season. Seabiscuit ran during the depression. Secretariat during another challenging time during our country's history. Things could be better now... Whatever producer decided to use The Rail Blog's Joe Drape and Steve Haskin of in the Longshot feature on ESPN and ABC made a good choice. Both veteran turf writers make my recommended reading list on a regular basis... As a longtime fan of thoroughbred racing in this the Ark-La-Tex, I send congratulations to Summer Bird owners and breeders Drs. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman who have raced horses in this region for more than 30 years... Gabby's Golden Gal won the grade 1 Acorn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies earlier in the day to take her spot as one of the top fillies in the country that is not as fast as Rachel Alexandra...

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