Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

The Belmont and Vanity

Posted by Brian Appleton on June 7, 2010

Drosselmeyer

The 2010 Triple Crown is officially over, another Belmont Stakes champion has been crowned and I am feeling a little confused. What kind of Triple Crown was this? It felt more like a mangled jumble of new faces in each race than an elite series for the nation’s leading 3-year-olds. There were only 8 young three year olds that competed in two legs of the Triple Crown this year and not a single one competed in all three. The Preakness Stakes seemed to make some sense as I believe that Lookin At Lucky is truly a very special colt and will go on to another championship season. The Kentucky Derby was run in the mud and finishes in those condition almost never makes sense but Super Saver is obviously a good horse and Ice Box too. The Belmont Stakes was a complete shake-up. At the wire it was WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer at odds of 13-1 who held off a furious late charging rally by Fly Down to take the victory. Heavy betting favorite Ice Box was nowhere to be found, finishing up the track in 8th, but I agree with trainer Nick Zito when he said that Ice Box is much better than that. Third place finisher First Dude proved yet again that he is one of the best 3-year-olds in the country by holding on gamely to lose by less than 2 lengths after setting most of the pace up front.

Drosselmeyer, with new jockey Mike Smith aboard got a perfect Belmont ride and was able to inch past First Dude in the homestretch while finishing looking very strong. I’m not sure that I think he will be one of the top three colts this year but this is a huge improvement off his last two tries in graded stakes races. Drosselmeyer gave Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott his first win in the Belmont Stakes.

In other news one of racings all time greatest will be making her way back to the track this weekend to contest a third consecutive Vanity Handicap. Multiple-champion Zenyatta will be trying to win her third straight Vanity on June 13th

Zenyatta

and her 17th straight victory overall. She is currently tied with such greats as Triple Crown winner Citation and 1990’s superstar Cigar in winning 16 straight races. While the former two won their skeins of races in the midst of glittering careers dotted with the occasional loss, Zenyatta is absolutely and completely perfect in her career so far.

In a very disappointing turn her connections have moved her back to California to race yet again on synthetics after implying that they would pursue a more fan-friendly, dirt based campaign this year, but it is still Zenyatta and anyone who is evenly slightly interested in this sport should watch this race.

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6 Responses to “The Belmont and Vanity”

  1. I think this Triple Crown series went south when it lost Eskendereya.

    And the other thing that really hurt it was that there weren’t the compelling back stories like last year when we had the gutsy little Mine That Bird and of course Rachel and Calvin Borel going for a personal TC and all of that.

    It’s ironic that this coming weekend with Rachel Alexandra trying to make a come back and Zenyatta certainly extending her record will prove to be a far more exciting and satisfying racing experience then the Belmont turned out to be.

    • I think things would have been a lot different if only Lookin At Lucky had won the Santa Anita Derby or prepped east for his last start before the Kentucky Derby. But yes, I think with Eskendereya out it removed the biggest (by far) east coast, dirt track high-profile Derby contender.

      Last year was an incredible year for Triple Crown feel-good stories, it would have been hard in any year to follow that up with a few better ones.

      I’m really looking forward to seeing both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta back again and I hope Rachel can get back into winning form this time around.

    • TV,

      I believe ESKENDEREYA was lucky to miss the Triple Crown…he’d have been fried in that Derby pace and folded like a cheap suit. He is talented, but not sturdy. This way, his reputation was kept intact…he won by not competing.

  2. The Triple Crown won’t be attracting all the top contenders until the connections prepare a colt like BOB BAFFERT did with LOOKIN AT LUCKY. That’s the kind of foundation the next Triple Crown winner needs. I still believe he’d have won the Derby in a more manageable field. That rail post he had actually starts on the turn while the 2 or 3 posts start in the straight. He had to come in to get positioned = sandwich #1. Then in the rodeo 20 horse field, PADDY O’PRADO herded STATELY VICTOR to the rail and ‘VICTOR bounced ‘LUCKY into the rail = sandwich #2…game over.

    His Preakness proved he was much best in the race after going far wide on the final turn, defeating the Derby winner when both had clear trips…and decisively. DROSSELMEYER is a grinder to the first degree and benefited from the absence of LOOKIN AT LUCKY. Watching the Belmont, while I was satisfied with the result, I couldn’t help but think that ‘LUCKY would have made an earlier move on FIRST DUDE and the finish would have been LOOKIN AT LUCKY, DROSSELMEYER, FLY DOWN, FIRST DUDE.

    Maybe we’ll get the next Triple Crown winner in 2011!

    • Absolutely agree with you. Lookin At Lucky had the foundation, the talent and the heart to make a very good Triple Crown run this year and I think he would have won the Belmont. The Kentucky Derby was a complete throwout, he didn’t get a chance to run his race from the very start.

      I like your enthusiasm, I’m all for a Triple Crown winner next year!! 🙂

  3. Confusing is a great way to put it…and Lookin At Lucky does look the best of this motley group

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