Probably a year from now, my first memory of the '09 Belmont Stakes will be the beautiful weather-mid 70's with sunshine and no humidity. What a difference from the humidity marred Belmont of '08.
My crew of 5 arrived at Belmont around 10:30 am-plenty of time to walk around the Big Park. After watching Just Ben , an impressive 3 year old win the 2nd race (maybe we will see him in the Kings Bishop Stakes at the Spa) I ventured to the Paddock to meet up with Gene from Equispace, who when asked who he liked in the Belmont Stakes, humbly said: "I'm a great handicapper but a terrible better".
I'm almost always a terrible better but today the betting gods were on my side and I ended up on the plus side for the day, ending the day with a $1 trifecta box on Summer Bird, Dunkirk and Mine That Bird for a tidy $147.50 score. I'm a big Birdstone fan, we all remember his Belmont Stakes win over Smarty Jones, but I loved his Travers win in the approaching darkness as a fierce thunderstorm erupted as soon as he crossed the finish line, and ever since I have followed his stud career closely. I liked Summer Bird's closing kick in the Kentucky Derby, and he looked great coming out of the Paddock on Saturday. More winnings would have come my way if I had boxed my top 4 that I called on Friday, which would have been a $800 plus superfecta score. I also managed to finish 2nd in the Brooklyn Backstretch Charity Attendance Guessing contest where Steve Zorn edged me out with a late entry. The Backstretch Employees Service Team, (B.E.S.T.) will be the recipient of a $50 donation from Brooklyn Backstretch which I will also match.
I leave you with some Pictures of my Day at the Belmont Stakes:
The Gorgeous Paddock at Belmont
The Pony Tailed Steve Crist giving Pick 6 advice to fellow media members outside the Paddock at The Belmont
And They're off in the 141st Belmont Stakes
Even a Blind Squirrel finds a nut once in a while