Belmont bender

So whose idea was it, exactly, to schedule Belmont week, final exams, and a bathroom renovation all in the same week?

The good news is that despite mess and work and fatigue, at their completion all of these things have, in their own way, a sort of splendor.  They are also, mercifully, finite.  Thank goodness, because I couldn’t take much more of this…

…which is what happens when your aptly named Imp decides that the box of plaster would be really, really fun to play with.

My Belmont weekend began, of course, with the Brooklyn Handicap, won by Alcomo…

Belmont day itself began early, with a visit to Quiet Temper, First Dude, and Stately Victor, neighbors in barn 1.  Quiet Temper embodied her name, as she nuzzled, licked, and nibbled the groom who sat outside her stall.

She didn’t fare so well in the Acorn, but I hope to see her at Saratoga this summer.  In other good Dale Romans filly news, last year’s Breeders’ Cup winner Tapitsfly has recovered from a winter setback and worked a bullet last week, fastest of 62 at Churchill.  And Just Louise, a two-year-old half sister to Sara Louise—who began her racing life in Dale Romans’ barn—broke her maiden at first asking on May 28th.   At last report, Darley had not yet called…

Less interesting than True North winner Bribon in this photo is his pony…isn’t he supposed to be the calm one?

Super sprinter D’Funnybone heads home alone…

…and yes, the base of the paddock statue of Secretariat has been handsomely replaced, and it never looks better than when it’s draped in white carnations.

Covering the race for the Saratogian became anything but mundane when the call came to add a little local flavor to the race recap:

Saratoga residents John Hendrickson and Marylou Whitney with Sarah Palin

And yes, Alaska is local when Saratoga resident John Hendrickson goes way back with the former Governor and her First Dude.  (Saratogian story here)

They break for the Belmont…

…and Drosselmeyer gets there first, ending my streak of cashing five straight winning Belmont tickets.  Auf wiedersehn…

My last post is up at, and over the last week at Hello Race Fans!, I’ve written about the oft-reconfigured Triple Tiara series and the Sunday Silence/Easy Goer rivalry.

So at the end of a Belmont bender, we’ve got Bill Mott, a local trainer who, over his home track, won his first Triple Crown race, and Mike Smith, a jockey who was once a local favorite winning two Grade I races on the card, including his first Belmont.  We’ve got memories and images.  I’ve got a school year of student accomplishment neatly summed up in facts and figures and ideas and imagination and achievement.  And oh, yeah, at some point, I’ll have a new bathroom.

And soon, we’ll have Saratoga.

16 thoughts on “Belmont bender

  1. It appears, Sue, that all three are over…and I’ll take finals over the bathroom reno any day!

    Sorry not to have seen you, Kevin, but definitely DelPark soon. Looks like you had a great day.

    I debated about approving the comment until I saw the author, Alan. Special vulgarity dispensation for you. 😉 But come on–she got the event a lot of press, and that’s not a bad thing, is it?

  2. Teresa,

    I’m a regular reader of your blog and enjoy your writing but I’m disappointed on the approval of Alan’s post. I don’t think of is blog as a place to read profanity and the expression of political views.


    • Thanks for weighing in, Mark. I don’t know whether you read Alan’s excellent blog Left at the Gate–it’s an informative and entertaining site focusing on racing, the Rangers, the Jets, and politics. For him to not talk politics would be like me not talking cats. 🙂 I hope that the occasional curse word won’t keep you away?

  3. Teresa,

    An occasional curse word won’t keep me away, but I doubt I’ll read Left at the Gate being I’m an Islander fan, ( I know Potvin sucks) Giant fan and being right of center. But we all like horse racing and that’s what matters.


  4. Indeed, Mark, that’s what matters…but surprising as it may seem, you’d find yourself in some company over at Alan’s site–he attracts quite the range of opinion.

    And you do know that I’m a Rangers fan? 😉

  5. Teresa,

    I kind of thought you were but that’s ok. My wife is also a Ranger fan. Back in 1987 she talked me into buying season tickets for the Rangers. We both worked in Manhattan at the time. We had seats in the old green section. As you can imagine I got abused all the time. Back then I had some leverage being the Islanders were still fresh off their four Stanley Cup wins and I was still able to chant “1940”. My section eventually gave me a pass but if I sat in the blue section I’m sure I would of been executed.

  6. Politics aside Ms. Palin looks like a fool in that hipster attire – especially with the VIP treatment and turf club venue – and even worse next to MLW. (Yes I know MLW and John have Alaskan connections. Still I wouldn’t show at say Super Bowl dressed like its some county fair either.)

    It is bad enough that ABC and the rest of the nation has to see the Governor of New York present the Belmont trophy but to also ABC camera’s trained upon anyone proclaimed to being famous for precious little is an insult. If Paris Hilton was there too I wouldn’t want that on camera either.

  7. …and how does the limo driver “get lost” going from JFK to BEL, causing the totally underdressed couple to arrive after 4 PM? Well, considering she was paling around with John and Ms Whitney, I guess it was overlooked.

  8. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the Palins were there and were featured prominently; it gave Belmont and the race a ton of publicity that it might not otherwise have gotten. And like her or not, being one of two female vice-presidential candidates in history isn’t “precious little,” in my book.

    I just don’t get all the disdain for her being there, or for her attire, or the skepticism about getting lost. And at the end of the day…what difference does it make what she was wearing? It’s a racetrack, not a state dinner.

    Robert–let’s see if he’ll tell us!

  9. >>I’m just wondering exactly what Alan would have done, had he known she was there!

    First of all, my comment was an impulsive and sophomoric one which I regret (but which I don’t apologize for). I consider Belmont to be kinda like my personal property, and I found the idea of such a repulsive person soiling it to be highly offensive. As for what I would have done, probably gotten my two or three cents in, been thrown out, gotten material for a great post, and saved money on all the bets I lost.

  10. Alan,

    I think it’s safe to say you don’t agree with Ms. Palin’s political views. But why do you find her repulsive? Your comments make it sound like you “fear” her. A few years ago I met Hillary Clinton at Saratoga when she was seeking re-election for her senate seat. I have nothing in common with the woman but I still thought it was cool meeting her and I sometimes think Saratoga is my personal property spending a good deal of my summers there.

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