10 lessons learned at the Belmont

Updated: June 11, 2005, 11:40 PM ET
By Jay Cronley | Special to ESPN.com

You're supposed to learn something every time out. Here are 10 lessons to be taken from Belmont Stakes number 137.

1. Somebody needs to get the Kentucky Derby under control and reduce the number of entrants to a manageable amount because the quarter horse on the lead at Churchill, and the eight or nine other tourists in the field, cost the sport a legitimate Triple Crown winner.

Afleet Alex stayed right in the Derby land run that produced comical and unfair fractions, he survived a blindsiding from a left-handed whipping of a horse that was already moving to the right, for heaven's sake, and then he won a race that was so long, all that was missing were hedges to jump.

2. Forget coastal racing in the spring, Arkansas appears to be the path to riches and glory.

3. Because Giacomo ambled along at the right time at the Derby, west coast racing was wildly overrated.

4. More than a 100 percent return on an investment on Belmont winner turned out to be what some horseplayers call "value."

5. Many people who are paid to pick winners in the horse racing business really do not have any idea what they're doing.

Granted, it's hard picking winners in high-dollar races when the horses do not have at least two legs heavily taped to the knee.

But if in your job, you get to watch race after race after race, day in and week out, you have to come close, people, you simply cannot pick Giacomo to win the Belmont Stakes.

If a horse wins a race as a result of a fluke, you can't continue to pick it.

This is getting embarrassing.

People will talk.

6. We could stand a little live music when the horses come onto the track at the Belmont Stakes.

There's nothing wrong with a Sinatra tape.

But they get around.

7. Horse racing could stand a good woman jockey, look at the Indy 500 where they don't even get to bet.

8. The best thing to happen to horse racing recently is that regular people are having great success owning races horses; it's fun to see the winner's circle look like Happy Hour instead of a board meeting.

9. Now that numerous handicappers are finished laughing at the maiden in the Belmont States, the horse that finished third, it would be nice to know what they're laughing at now so we could bet a couple of bucks on it; with three year-olds, there's not that difference in some maidens and some stakes winners, is there.

10. The Shield is the best show on television and Glenn Close should win some important awards; the Detroit Pistons could use a center; ping, college baseball should outlawed because, pong, they bat with plumbing, with pipe-like gizmos; in women's college softball, the pitcher should stand on second base; college football has been completely ruined; we missed a blimp shot at the Belmont; and doesn't your heart go out to the spouses and relationship partners of the women of Court TV, talk about rank!