But tonight, congratulations to Da’ Tara, the colt called a rank outsider, the longest shot on the board; and to Nick Zito, called a fool for entering not one but two supposedly unqualified horses in the Belmont. Zito is often questioned for putting his horses in tough spots, and his response always seems to be the same: This is why we’re in this game. These are the races that are important to the sport, and we need to honor the history of the sport by running in them.
These are paraphrases, memories, impressions of things I’ve heard him say, some of the reasons that I respect him, and why I am so, so glad that he and his horse are the unlikely winners of today’s Belmont Stakes.
The Rail quotes Zito as saying, “Obviously we like these classic races…It’s New York, it’s our home.”
Congrats, Nick Zito, and kudos for taking a chance when everyone thought you were crazy and when you were ridiculed. Your unqualified horses finished first and third, and in victory, you were humble and respectful, of the game and its players. I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted the Belmont to end, but when it was over, I realized that I’d gotten the ending I’d been hoping for, and not only because I cashed a ticket on it.
Looking forward to seeing you at Saratoga…