The road to the winner’s circle in the Belmont Stakes ran through the Kentucky Derby, even if the Derby and Preakness winners skipped the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Irish War Cry is back on the Triple Crown trail as the 7-2 favorite for the Belmont Stakes. The colt claimed that status after expected favorite Classic Empire was forced out Wednesday because of an abscess in his right front hoof.
It sounds like the ultimate sure thing — or the ultimate sucker’s bet: Wagering money on horse races that have already happened.
Preakness winner Cloud Computing won’t run in the Belmont Stakes, leaving the final leg of the Triple Crown without the winners of the first two races.
Cloud Computing pounced Always Dreaming and Classic Empire in the Preakness, pulling off an upset victory at 13-1 odds Saturday. He became the first horse to skip the Derby and win the second leg of the Triple Crown since filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
The new foliage and slick paint can’t mask the fact that 147-year-old Pimlico is showing its age. Known affectionately as Old Hilltop, this old track has been trying for years to fend off the inevitable conclusion that it’s badly in need of a serious makeover.
The “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” is inarguably the marquee event of Derby Week, when 20 horses race the track of Churchill Downs for glory, cash and bragging rights as thousands of hat-besotted onlookers cheer in hopes of a return on wages. (As Rand Paul, the junior senator of Kentucky, once told me at the White House Correspondents Dinner, “Bet a lot of money; you’ll feel really good about yourself.”)
Toni Goodman was close enough to see the horses kicking up dirt as they raced past, having spent a mere $5 for her trackside seat to an event just days before the Kentucky Derby.
Creator took advantage of a little gamesmanship and a celebrity chef to win the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes on Saturday, thanks to its owner Kenny Trout’s WinStar Farm.
It took Desormeaux, the colt’s trainer, more than 25 years of toiling at quieter racetracks to make his way to the spotlight, which he has enjoyed since Exaggerator won the Preakness Stakes.
Exaggerator opened as the 9-5 favorite and drew the No. 11 post position for the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, which will be held on Saturday.
Desormeaux, who has struggled with alcohol for years, plans to ride Exaggerator in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, three weeks after he guided the horse to a win in the Preakness Stakes.