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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

One man's defining moment can be another man's icing on the cake.

2009 Belmont Stakes champion trainer Tim Ice who described the feeling as "unexplainable" went on to say "If my career goes nowhere from here, I've got a Belmont win. They can't take it away from me." Yesterday's terrific come from behind win by Summer Bird topped off quite a day for the former assistant trainer at beautiful Belmont Park. Making an equipment change (blinkers on) for a major race like this can be a turn-off for a lot of handicappers, this trainer knew it was the right thing for the "other" Bird, "I think adding the blinkers let him focus. I think Kent Desormeaux helped a lot. With the blinkers and Kent, they put it together and won the third leg of the Triple Crown."

For HOF jockey Kent Dersormeaux, the victory solidified the completion of his personal triple crown, the icing on the cake. Eluded twice under Triple Crown threatening colts Real Quiet and Big Brown, KD completed his personal crown with a resounding fourth victory of the day. The media made sure they reminded Kent of his past Belmont disappointments in the post race press conference, particularly last year's race. Kent coolly answered all of the questions, but you could sense the relief in his voice, "I can't tell you how much I'm going inside, how well it feels to have that contentment and to be able to go home and rest at ease knowing I've won the three American classics."

For me, it was a special treat, bouncing around the vast expanse of Belmont Park yesterday. It made the over 20 hours or so of driving this weekend all worthwhile. My day started off on the right foot with a chance meeting of TRNY founder Ernie Munick and NYRA Director of Communications Dan Silver, where we chatted about the big race and exchanged pleasantries. After that, the highlight of my day was meeting Edgar Prado who was signing his book "My Guy Barbaro" outside of the NYRA store (I asked him if he read our blogs, he said he's not so good with the computer, so I gave him a pass). I met up with Robert at They're in the Gate and Alan of The Bug Boys, hopefully we'll catch up again at the Spa this summer. I spent a few races with my pal JB and his boys and the last three races by myself just taking the experience in. The roar of the crowd when they turn for home in the Belmont, is the best sound in all of sports.
The rest of the racing day has been covered elsewhere, but I'll leave you with the Day in Pictures for me (with my usual commentary)....

When you get to the track two hours before first post, why not get a quick trim for $10?
2006 Kentucky Derby winning jockey Edgar Prado (needs help with computer, can anyone help a brother out?)

Plenty of media folk on site, first HRTV's Laffit Pincay (chugged at least two Red Bulls while I was watching) with another guy I was too lazy to look up (cuz I don't get HRTV!!!!) (Update: It's Jeff Siegel...hat tip to Elizabeth)

ESPN's Jeannine Edwards in the paddock.

The other Toddster, from TVG, mouthing a few words of the National Anthem.

A little fly-by after the Anthem, I don't know about you, but it got me a bit unnerved, as I wasn't expecting it and it seemed a tad close...for NYC.

The always dapper Todd Pletcher. Do you think he was getting a text from Mrs. P? Honey, bring home two milks, toilet paper.....

Zito: "And get this, my horse, Da'Tara, no one goes with him and he wins the freakin' thing!"
2008 Belmont Stakes winning jock Alan Garcia.
Kieran was a very charitable man to give his time to pose with JB and the boys. I hung out with the handicapping crew under their Belmont tree in the backyard and got them off their two year Belmont Day show pool schneid with My Princess Jess.

Gio Ponti cruising home in the Manhattan.

And they're off in the Belmont!

Happy Connections: Champagne on Ice!

Note: special thanks to Dan Silver and Ashley Herriman of NYRA for making it a great day.


dana said...

Ha, I love that you asked Prado if he reads our blogs! And admit it, took that barbershop shot when you were in line for a haircut.

Sorry I missed you, see you at the Spa!

Ernie said...

How much money did you make on Summer Bird? You're one of the few people I know who outright picked him.

The photo should've been of YOU getting the haircut.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for sharing your great pics with us. Sounds like you had a great day!

The person next to Laffit Pincay is Jeff Seigel.

John said...

Great Stuff!

EquiSpace said...

Dana: See you at the Spa!

E: Let's say the online account is stocked for Saratoga!

Eliz: Thanks for the tip...added to the blog!

John: Glad you enjoyed it!

Thanks all for reading.

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

Nice photos! We just missed each other by a couple weeks at Belmont.

(I'm currently doing bizarro triple crown where i travel to the home of the event on the wrong day. next up CD.)

Great pick with Summer Bird!

SaratogaSpa said...

Great pics-didn't I give you that Summer Bird tip! See you at the Spa!

Colins Ghost said...

Hey Gene: Sorry I missed you. I spent the day frantically putting tickets together - having spent no time with the PPs the night before. Hope to see you up at the SPA. Kevin

EquiSpace said...

TDH: See you in a couple weeks at the Plate.

Robt: Good spending time with you, looking forward to Opening Day 7/28

Kevin: No problem...hopefully catch you this summer...Travers?


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