Following yesterday’s little trip back to the 2004 Belmont, here’s what I recall about Belmont 2005.
I hit an early, well-paying (as I recall) exacta in the White Carnation when Judy Soda was DQ’d to second and Madonna Lily got the win.
And then the rest of the card is pretty much of a blur until the Belmont. Some nice horses won that day—Round Pond, Good Reward, Lost in the Fog—but I was hyper-focused on my uber-crush, Afleet Alex. I’d watched him at Saratoga the year before, watched that crazy, green run in the stretch in the Sanford, watched him try to lose that race and win despite himself. I exulted in his victories, despaired after his loss in the Rebel, comforted myself after his third in the Derby, gasped at his Preakness…and watched him blow by the field in the Belmont, on one of my favorite racing days ever. “It’s over,” my brother said, lowering the binoculars as they came around the turn. I tried to take a picture of the stretch run, and the frame came up empty: Alex off to the right, the rest of the field back to the left. I can’t imagine ever being happier about the outcome of a horse race.
Please feel free to post your comments/memories of the races that day…
In other news: I got a DRF watch list report of an Evening Attire workout on Saturday morning: four furlong in 48.08, from the gate. From the gate! Dave Grening reports on this work, noting that it’s Evening Attire’s second work from the gate since he was a two-year-old. I feel like I remember that other gate work, maybe two years ago? Evening Attire’s bad breaks were becoming a habit, and while Pat Kelly noted that it was unlikely that the gelding’s behavior would change, he obviously decided to give it a shot.
Last December, Kelly said that Evening Attire “falls asleep” in the gate when he has to wait in there too long for the start, and in Grening’s article, the trainer expresses dismay that the horse has drawn the rail again.
Sightseeing was one of my favorite three-year-olds last year, and I’m interested to see how he does going long; he’s one of Evening Attire’s opponents in the Brooklyn on Friday.