Replaying the Belmont Stakes -- the questions and answers from my group of viewers:
Q: Without being overly dramatic, how would you assess the Belmont Stakes of 2007?
A: As one of the greatest events in the history of sport. It could even be a big boost to Father's Day, with so many women holding winning pari-mutuel tickets.
Q: What handicapping note should be starred in the margin from this year's race?
A: That there can be no more difficult race for a favorite to win than this one. The favorite is off at least one tough Triple Crown race, usually two. A horse new to the action is always worth a look.
Q: Has there ever been a better Triple Crown series with three different winners?
A: Never; each race was more exciting than what had come previously. Talk about a fine moment for a sport, look at the stretch run, then a shot of the New York crowd, with about every single person pictured cheering, losing tickets aside!
Q: What was the most surprising aspect of the Belmont Stakes?
A: The pace. There was none. That was like a cantor, a saunter. It was like a pony ride through Central Park, a cop on patrol. Somebody fresh and near the front was just the ticket.
Q: Was the five-pound weight allowance for the female sex the difference?
A: No. Rags to Riches was five pounds' worth wide of Curlin. Curlin got in a little tight, but had the shorter route. When they got nose-to-nose and proceeded down the stretch, and down it, and down it, nobody had an out-of-body advantage.
Q: Could Street Sense have defeated Rags to Riches and Curlin?
A: Good question.
Q: Will more fillies suddenly be entered with the males at racing's lower levels?
A: Probably. Though it had been a million years since a filly won the Belmont, not all that many were entered. Female quarter horses have never been afraid of males, in the least. Early in small meets, you've seen thoroughbred fillies run at the shorter distances. After this, fillies will be bet down ten percent against males just because.
Q: Now what? What could top that?
A: Replay it.
Write to Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE TRIPLE CROWN
June 9, 2007
• Belmont champ Rags to Riches eyes Travers
• Gomez's loss proves Velazquez's gain
• Pletcher, Velazquez end Triple Crown droughts
• Hard Spun was all done in the Belmont
• Pletcher deserves 'Riches' after Belmont
• Rags to Riches beats Curlin in Belmont
• Street Sense to skip Belmont
• Curlin denies Street Sense in Preakness
• Street Sense wins Kentucky Derby
• Mayne: Racing needs racing
• Finley: What about an encore?
• Cronley: Triple Crown Q&A
• Cronley: My Belmont Day
• Finley: The Belmont horse by horse
• Moss: Street Sense just didn't finish