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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Belmont 145: The Day in Pictures

After spending a long weekend in the Big Apple, we're back in the B-lo and taking a breath after an exciting Triple Crown series that culminated in Palace Malice's big win in Saturday's Belmont Stakes. The day ended up being picture perfect after the onslaught of rain that the metropolitan New York area experienced on Friday and in the early Saturday morning hours.

It was an exciting race that came down to two Hall of Fame jockeys battling it out at the top of the stretch with Mike Smith avenging his Belmont loss on Paynter last year with the victory aboard the son of Curlin. As a big fan of Curlin, I am punching myself in the face for not using him. Worse yet, in my 4/26 post on the Sports, Ink blog in my annual Degrees of Separation post I listed the following two horses in the "Afleet Alex Division" and I quote:

The Afleet Alex Divison: Horses that won't win the Derby, but will have to be respected and could hit the board. Those qualifying here have the potential to become a Classic winner down the road in either the Preakness or the Belmont Stakes.
Palace Malice: Late charger who seems to be a Belmont horse to me. I like him very much, and will keep an eye on his draw, his daddy Curlin won the Preakness and was nosed out of the Belmont.
Oxbow: Still waiting for this one to show up. Thinking it may be in the Belmont where he may savor the Test of a Champion.
Yeesh....did I cash on either? Take a wild guess. Maybe I should read myself more often! Anyways the weekend was a blast and the Space Gal and I took in the Big Apple with gusto. She even managed to make the Fashion at the Races blog (red dress, white fascinator).
My post race recap of the Belmont for The News can be found here. I also live blogged during the stakes portion of the races at the Sports, Ink blog from Big Sandy. My paper picks of Revolutionary-Oxbow-Freedom Child didn't quite pan out, although I felt very positive about Oxbow running a big one and he sure did respond and paid fairly handsomely for the place and show spots.
Our next assignment will be up north early next month where we'll be covering the Queen's Plate, one of my favorite races of the year up at Woodbine in Toronto. We'll have a post up later this week discussing likely contenders and some early thoughts after this weekend's Plate Trial win by Dynamic Sky.
Here are some pictures from Belmont Stakes Day with some color commentary mixed in..
A view of the box seats from the trackside
winner's circle (if you look close enough on left hand
side first box - you'll see the white-shirted
former NYRA chairman Charlie Hayward)

Palace Malice reaches the winner's circle

Space Invasion: Belmont Park

Space Gal stylin' on paddock rail

Wabbajack - Ninety North Stables star
before the Easy Goer

Repole Stables' Micromanage

Easy Goer winner Power Broker
with Rosie Napravnik up

Johnny V aboard Stephanie's Kitten
winner of the Just A Game

DWL saddling Optimizer before
the Manhattan 
Point of Entry in the paddock
before the Manhattan

Incognito before the Belmont

Rosie aboard Unlimited Budget

Orb heads to the track with Joel Rosario in the irons

Horses milling around before
entering the gate (Space Gal view)

Crowd anticipating the start

Belmont Tote Board

Palace Malice about 31 lengths from the wire
(see blue pole marking Secretariat's margin of victory)

Give that Palace Malice a hand!

My view from the winner's circle
That's a wrap for this year's Triple Crown. My weekly Friday column can be found here so be sure to bookmark to keep tabs on me for the next few months.



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