A day to be a fan

On Saturday’s big day of racing, there were stories to be told, photos to be taken, and races to be analyzed…but you’re going to have to look elsewhere for all of that, because for the first time in ages, I spent Saturday at the races as a pure fan.

Adam Wiener of Hello Race Fans and I held a belated for me/early for him birthday celebration at the picnic area at the top of the stretch—we were blessedly fortunate with the weather, as it seems to have been the only day in the last six weeks that it hasn’t rained at Belmont, and a combination of racing veterans and novices came out to celebrate with us, barbecue, and bet. (FATE: are you listening?)

Over and over we heard from our guests: “This is great!” “We can’t wait to come back!” “We love it here!” True to form, the racing gods smiled on the rookies, gently reeling them in, making this oh-so-hard game look oh-so-easy.

I saw a little girl of about four walking around with a handful of dollars. “She won!” said her proud father. A teenager at our party cashed a $73 winner. One of our guests, Dan, had Rick Schosberg’s Dantastic for $20.80.

The view of the horses coming off the turn is sublime, and in the picnic areas all around us, people moved to the rail as the race went off, cheering for their picks as the horses thundered past. It was tough to tell who won, but the suspense sometimes just made it more exciting.

And to top it all off, Cat Moves won the Prioress in what would have been an upset had she not been coupled with the favorite. We’d have liked a higher price, but we like that she won.

Any discussion of Saturday racing would be incomplete without mentioning Presious Passion’s win in the United Nations. I’d call it astonishing, but his wild run and ultimate victory have become almost routine. Yesterday’s race was a déjà vu moment, recalling his win in the Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream a few months ago. You have to just shake your head and admire him (even as you despair the way his name is spelled)—all hail Presious Passion!

7 thoughts on “A day to be a fan

  1. What a horse that Presious Passion. He's become immune to Kryptonite this season. Bet the Lois Lanes at Belmont Park were wondering if they were at the wrong metropolitan area track on Saturday. 😀

  2. One of the great things about your blog is that you express true appreciation for a day at the races. Reading your posts is almost like being there. For my family, one of the GREAT treats of the year is to go to the beach and Belmont on the same day. A sandy beach and Big Sandy – – what a combo! It requires some logistical and meteorological luck, but we managed to pull it off last Friday. Robert Moses State Park from 10 – 2 and Belmont Park from 3 – 6. A brief late day downpour of Biblical proportions, viewed from high atop the third floor grandstand, only enhanced the fun.

  3. Thanks, everyone-it was a great day. The weather certainly helped…but what's better than a day at the races with family and friends?OK…winning at the races with family & friends…Beach and Belmont Sandy double…you are definitely on to something…

  4. Happy belated birthday, Teresa!So, does that mean your birthday bash was in one of those little "personal paddocks"?

  5. You're such a great wordsmith. We've always called it Beach and Belmont. Or the sandy beach and Big Sandy. But from now on, it's the Sandy Double. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for the wishes, Sue–yes, we rented one of those little paddocks and it was terrific–kids could run around, great view of the turn. I highly recommend.

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