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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Belmont Stakes Day is going to be Killer Diller

 

The Breeders’ Cup? Fuhgeddaboudit. The racing card put together by the New York Racing Association for Belmont Stakes Day could be the best we’ve seen in many years.

 


Not content with taking things up to a ten, Belmont Park is going to crank it up all the way to eleven. A quick scan of the June 7 stakes schedule is impressive enough, revealing a total of 10 stakes races (nine of them graded.) It all adds up to $7.7 million in purse money for many of the nation’s biggest stars. Take a look …

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story is far from over there. Yesterday, in front of the largest Preakness crowd in history, with millions more watching at home, California Chrome did exactly what most were hoping he would do. The copper colored star impressively moved one step closer to the most difficult achievement in horse racing, by adding a Preakness win, to his Kentucky Derby victory two weeks earlier. It’s been 36 years since another chestnut colt got it done once, twice, three times a champion, over his dogged adversary Alydar. With so many ‘close but no cigars’ since Affirmed, racing fans want a Triple Crown so badly, that they will be able to taste it each morning they wake up over the next 20.

 


No hating here, but … there is a reason there have been so many failed attempts in the last 35 years. California Chrome is far from a sure thing, with so many good horses like Danza, Wicked Strong, Tonalist, and Commanding Curve ready to test him in those final few furlongs of the grueling challenge that is the Belmont Stakes, I fear we could be in store for another Real Quiet, Smarty Jones type heartbreaker, but then again I tend to worry a lot. The four I mentioned also have the benefit of being at home, resting, while California Chrome was punching the clock at Pimlico. One thing for sure, if California Chrome is to make 21st century history on June 7, he is going to have earned it.  The anticipation will be as thick as the La Brea tar pits, as we inch methodically closer to the biggest test in his career.

 


As if having a Triple Crown on the line for California Chrome is not enough for the hair on the back of your neck to stand straight up, how about the Met Mile? Raised to an all-time high purse of $1.25 million, one of my favorite races of the year is sure to be a real slobberknocker this year. One of my favorites, and last year’s Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice, looks to be the one to beat, but in the perfect match of top sprinters versus distance able horses, this classic one-turn race for older horses is never easy. With a few names like Goldencents, Vyjack, Central Banker, Shakin It Up already on the probable list, and more big names to come, this one is sure to entertain, but it probably is not the most interesting race for older horses on the card.

 


Lest we forget the fairer sex, when is the last time we’ve had a group of four-year-old fillies that look as good as Beholder, Princess of Sylmar, Close Hatches, and Midnight Lucky? All four are coming into the race in fine fettle. Frankly, the 8 ½ furlong Ogden Phipps is without exaggeration, shaping up better than most Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classics we’ve seen. And folks, these are only the top three of ten big stakes races.

 


Top sprinters, turf horses, late developers, marathoners, this Belmont Stakes card is going to have it all. Let’s not forget about the Grade 1 Acorn, which is scheduled to be the first race for Untapable since her triumphant run for the lilies. There are a few experts that say she is the best three-year-old out there … even better than a certain Triple Crown hopeful. It’s almost too much to wrap my head around.


I need to work hard over the next 480 hours, and take my mind off what is coming on June 7. This is too much excitement too stand. Are you as excited as I am??? 

 

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Older Comments about Belmont Stakes Day is going to be Killer Diller...

What was the deal with them deciding to not air the Dixie Stakes at all?? I was pissed about that
  • drevels · Go Big and Go Chrome ,if D,W L , does not have a horse runing , Chrome wins by a head , , good luck CC · 91 days ago
This card is so Epic it's almost feels unreal...I feel like the Breeders' Cup has FINALLY come back to the east coast!
He may be right, but let's not forget who signs his paychecks, so of course he's going to say that.
especially if he wins!
I watched the national racing report yesterday, Richard Migliore said that because California chrome won the Preakness, Belmont Stakes day will now possibly go down as the greatest day in history of thoroughbred racing, and I agree 100% with him
I LOVE the fact that they built up this card. Hopefully the causal (pink hats as we call them in NE) fans that are going to watch just to see Chrome, will also see whats going on before hand. I wish NBC could do a little segment on wagering and how fans are activite participants in this sport rather than spend the entire 6 hours of coverage doing retrospectives on the trainer, breeder, jockey horse over and over and over and over and over and over and over andover.
NBC has to cover the card, this is the biggest day in racing history, they have no choice, the races will be good
We're talking television, correct?
Clem McCarthy wasn't bad eiteher
Drvivianbell- I agree. Infact I would have Laffit host the broadcast, and have Jerry and Richard Migliore, or another rider to sit in with the panel. Then you have a very good host, and two knowledgable riders. I can go without Moss et al.
Having won nearly 5,900 races, Jerry Bailey brings legitimate chops to the table, and it’s a trifling stretch to summarily declare that he "SUCKS." Among the non-jocks eating up air time during broadcasts, few can hold a candle to Jack Whitaker and Heywood Hale Broun, but those days are long gone.
Can't wait to watch the Belmont Gold Cup. They could really do good things with these distance races. Why not start a 3 race series for stayers like in England. Starting with the Belmont Gold Cup (2 miles), American St.Leger(1 11/16), and then add a 2 mile Cup race at the Breeders Cup. If you win the first two legs, there is a big 3 million dollar bonus on the line if you can win the Breeders Cup...(Gold Cup?). In England they have the stayers triple. Ascot Gold Cup/Goodwood Cup/Doncaster Cup. I always find this a fantastic division, and marvel at the horses staying abilities. maybe they can do the same with the Frank E. Kilroe Mile /Met Mile/BC Mile, and so one with the other divisions. That way maybe we will see a Miler, and Stayer eclipse award in the future.
  • EP Taylor · I love what Belmont is doing. Hats off to them with this amazing card, and the friday card. · 93 days ago
My only concern is wondering how NBC will manage to butcher the coverage for such an incredible day.
What a great day it will be Belmont Stakes, with so many great stakes races that obviously concludes with the last Triple Crown in The Belmont Stakes and a chance to see the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years, Oh what a day it is going to be at Belmont. Can't wait to be there!!!!!!!!!!
The worse part of the Preakness coverage was the Woodford Reserve ad that played over and over showing a dskinny blonde chick sipping bourbon who according to the dude who was chasing her was as knowledgeable about horses as , say, Rosie Napravnik. Totally dumb commercial!
NBC Sports does a pretty good job with the under card but when the switch over to regular NBC the skip races to rehash human interest stuff.
I am excited. This is the 27th consecutive Belmont Stakes Day that I have attended and it looks to be a good one.
D Beltmont for me is an ambush set up for Cali Chrome. I hope he prevails, but it will be a tough race. A bloody battle at the track on June 7. The east horse will ambush the west visitor. I am so excited that I cannot wait for June 7.
I will see you in NY, Brian!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.