It was practically dark when post time for the last race at Belmont Park rolled around Oct. 3. A dismal, cold, wet early fall day on which a half-dozen graded stakes races had been run was nearly at an end, and following the running of the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I), the already sparse crowd had dwindled to a few diehards, possibly looking to get out on the finale or the simulcast from Santa Anita Park after a losing day.
Among those remaining was Sheila Rosenblum, who, despite the mud and the cold, made her way down from her table on the glass in the Belmont Room to the nearly empty paddock, sidling into the stall with trainer Linda Rice as one of her 2-year-olds got saddled for his second start. A former model, she cut a striking contrast to the those left in the descending darkness.
A relative newcomer to Thoroughbred racing, Rosenblum has found herself more often in the winner’s circle for a graded stakes race than waiting out the finale. But what looks like overnight, improbable success masks early endeavors from which the less hardy might have fled.
Rosenblum “bought” her first horse in 2010, a private purchase of a 3-year-old filly. In perhaps a harbinger of things to come, that horse, Neon Light, made her only start for Rosenblum’s Lady Sheila Stable in a stakes race, the Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. She finished 10th, but that might have been less dismaying than the fact that the horse had apparently not really been for sale, and following the Valley View, she was returned to her original owner. For Rosenblum, it
was strike one.
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