Rocklandnews.com, Live From Belmont, Dan Heary

June 10, 2015

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                                                            AFTER 37 YEARS A TRIPLE CROWN

 

 
   34 (2)    Many of you were not born in 1978 when Affirmed won the last “triple crown”, or Seattle Slew in 77′ and even “Big Red” [Secretariat] in 73′.  
       Factually a thoroughbred must qualify and win the Kentucky Derby the first Saturday in May.  This is followed two weeks later by a trip to Baltimore and a victory in the Preakness. If this is achieved racing fans, well there is a shot at a “TRIPLE CROWN” at Belmont Park in Queens.  
      “So you’re saying there’s a chance ?”…. well it failed the previous 12 times in 36 years, scratched, stumbled, tired, well you know the drill by now.  As the 13th attempt neared with American Pharaoh entering the gate at 6:50 pm, the 90,000 [capped] crowd began to roar.
  DSC_8330 (1)     The Ky bred and California raised three year old was looking for his seventh straight win [first maiden race was a loss], but this final test was covering a mile and half and seven other contestants.  In “AP’s” favor was the weather, lack of a strong field, and great connections.  The cons were three races in five weeks and the unknowns.
       At 6:51 pm the gates opened and 2:26.6 minutes later “AP” who led gate to finish became the 12th “TC” winner in over 140 years.  His {AP} time is one of the fastest ever, and his last quarter mile of 24.3 is the fastest EVER…meaning he had something left in the tank.
       Personally, being in the “trenches” and shooting the race for publications, I have NEVER heard a roar as I did as “AP” turned for home and extended his lead from one to five lengths over runner up Frosted.  I had to remain “focused” as the fans let it out.  I did see the other three “TC’s”, but this was the best for there was a drought in a dying sport.
      Now yours truly has to listen to “old timers” state “he’ll never compare to Secretariat”….my response to them is to enjoy the moment and don’t trip over your WALKER.
9 (1)
 
 
 
Dan: from the finish line
FYI: many horses wear ear plugs
        as to not get amped up to soon
        from the crowd noise