Thursday, June 7, 2012

Belmont Blues

It's been a while since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978.  There have been an astounding 30 horses who showed up in New York at Belmont trying to take the elusive title of Triple Crown Winner.  19 came up short.  We are hoping that I'll Take Another will surprise us all and join the exclusive club.

(Horse Channel.com photo of Affirmed)

We all remember Smarty Jones in 2004, don't we?  He was cute, charismatic and was owned by a group just regular guys wanting to be in horse racing. He had a shot.  He was in a fast race and they ganged up on him right from the start, making him tire easily in the long stretch to home.  He was beat by 36-1 Birdstone.

 (Smarty Jones)

You may not remember War Emblem in 2002.  Bob Baffert''s colt started out badly in the Belmont, stumbling and finishing in eighth place.


(Photo of War Emblem, Sports Illustrated for NY Times)

Many thought Charismatic would win.  In 1999 D. Wayne Lucas' colt fractured two bones in his left front leg but amazingly finished the race in third behind Lemon Drop Kid.

(Sporthorse-data.com photo of Charismatic)

In 1998 Real Quiet did not win either.  Bob Baffert's colt lost this race in a photo finish to Victory Gallop who had finished second in the Derby and Preakness.  This one was a real nail biter, but not to be. Real Quiet died in 2010 at age 15 in an accident in his paddock near Harrisburg, PA.

 (Tumblr photo of Real Quiet)

Silver Charm almost made it in 1997.  It looked like he was going to win but wit 75 yards to the finish Gary Stevens, Silver Charm's jockey, saw another horse out of the corner of his eye.  Unfortunately, Silver Charm did not see Touch Gold until it was too late.

 (horseracing.about.com photo of Silver Charm)

Another round of bad luck kept Spectacular Bid from winning the Belmont in 1979.  On the morning of the race he stepped on a safety pin in his stall and he finished third behind Coastal.



Let's go way back to 1969 and look at Majestic Prince.  His jockey, the famous Bill Hartack, was criticized for moving too late in the stretch and he lost to Arts and Letters.  This was Majestic Prince's first loss in 10 starts.

 (Majestic Prince wins the Derby)

In 1958 Tim Tam finished second to Cavan after running the final quater-mile with a broken bone in his right front ankle.

 (photo of Tim Tam, Community.tvg.com)

I'm hoping that the little chestnut colt with the young jockey will make history and defy the odds on Saturday.  Sometimes things happen when you least expect it!

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