Sunday, June 06, 2010

Good and Bad on Belmont Stakes Day

There was a lot to like and dislike at Belmont Park on Saturday. Here are a few of what I consider to be "goods" and "bads":

GOOD - We'll start with the obligatory photo of Drosselmeyer. He was good enough to win the third jewel of the triple crown. Congratulations to him and his connections.

BAD - The guys who walked around with no shirts. Racing has certainly devolved from the times when everyone got dressed up to go to the track. And this guy was INSIDE!

GOOD - Dan Hendricks. It was a rare opportunity to see him in New York. I admire him very much.

BAD - Even with only 45,000 people in attendance, there were BIG lines for the Women's Room. I'm not sure which is creepier - that guy leaning on the wall outside of the ladies' restroom or me taking this photo.

GOOD - Bribon. The 7-year-old became a millionaire with his win in the True North Handicap. I used to think I was a good luck charm to Bob Ribaudo because he only won big races when I was in attendance. Apparently, it stuck with Bribon after he moved to a different trainer. His last big win was the 2009 Met Mile (and I was there).

BAD - People that camp out wherever they please. This is not the back yard. This is the apron around the 16th pole. These guys just set up their picnic and ignored the fact that they impeded traffic and prevented people from getting a better view. This is just one example of several groups with no consideration.

GOOD - Jody McDonald and Steven Crist. If you are reading this, you probably know who Steve Crist is, but unless you live near New York City, you probably don't know Jody Mac. He is one of the few radio sportscasters that discusses horse racing. I remember listening to his "Jody Mac at the Track" segments long before I became a fan of horse racing. You can hear Jody in the New York area on 1050 ESPN radio from 1pm-3pm weekdays. 1050 was broadcasting from the backyard for a while and Mr. Crist was a guest. I didn't stick around for the interview because the horses were coming to the paddock for the Acorn Stakes.

BAD - These guys. And everyone else that dressed in an unusual manner to draw attention to themselves. This includes the guys dressed up as Mario and Luigi.

GOOD - Champagne D'Oro with the win in the Acorn Stakes at 39-1. Reading her past performances makes you scratch your head. She seemingly broke her maiden in her 4th race but was disqualified. She was then sent to unsuccessful trips in the Delmar Futurity against the boys and than the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies. She then came back to break her maiden this past February, ran in the Fair Grounds Oaks and Kentucky Oaks and then came to Belmont. I could handicap this race 100 times and never land on her. She seems to be terribly mismanaged, but is now a Grade 1 winner. So, what do I know?

BAD - I leave you with this. Not just a race track rule, but a rule for everyday life. If you have bad dandruff, don't wear a black blazer. Head & Shoulders my friend. Head & Shoulders.


John said...

Great post Alan, I love those reality posts. BTW I had Champagne D'Oro, her LA form was decent, she made my day :-)

Ernie Munick said...

SUPER DUPER post, but that last photo is heads and shoulders above the others.

Great work!

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