The Belmont was pretty much over when the jockey on Mine That Bird, the excellent Mr. Borel (when you're going to be slightly critical, it's always nice to use Mister) guaranteed a victory; a race being over in this case meaning that the favorite wasn't going to win because promises on sporting events are like guarantees on marriages.
Once a race is over, that doesn't mean you win. You win when it's over-over, when the favorite doesn't run first or second, and you do.
This has been a bad week or two for promised victories, the other lock-rock-cinch coming from a Cleveland Cav guard right before Orlando dusted the floor with the guarantor's team.
Here's the point about sports guarantees: There is no point, in issuing one.
Using a guarantee to eliminate a favorite is a great example of a valuable handicapping tool that can be found between the lines of the Form.
When all the horses are pretty good, it becomes a rider's race, doesn't it.
Here are some brief thoughts about a few rides.
Charitable Man's: Whoa. Speed taken back on a speed-favoring track? Questionable at best.
Dunkirk's: Excellent ride. Somebody had to take the lead when Charitable Man passed. Those of us who had a little something on Dunkirk should thank our lucky tickets because he could have been taken down as easily as he wasn't. So remember this one when you gripe about getting robbed next time.
Mine that Bird's: As the trainer said, Mr. Borel moved a little too soon and interrupted Dunkirk's lead.
Summer Bird's: Perfect. But last to first in this field wasn't last by that far.
One question: Am I not paying the right kind of attention, or was the call of this race a little up in the air until the issue was decided? Nothing wrong with patience; but sometimes moves are as fascinating as results.
Write to Jay at email@example.com.
THE TRIPLE CROWN
Belmont Park • June 6 • ABC 5 p.m. ET
More Triple Crown
• Summer Bird upsets Belmont | Gallery
• Mine That Bird 2-1 favorite at Belmont
• Borel: 'We're going to win it'
• Mine That Bird turns in 'perfect' work
• Rachel Alexandra poses for Vogue
• Summer Bird puts in sharp work
• Desormeaux takes another shot
• 'Rachel' wins 134th Preakness Stakes
• Mine That Bird upsets Derby | Gallery
• Rachel Alexandra dominates Oaks | Gallery
• NTRA.com: Ky. Derby | Preakness | Belmont
• Summer Bird takes Belmont Stakes
• Borel denied | Desormeaux elated
• Cronley: State of the Union
• Novak: Birds of a feather
• Moran: Belmont tests champions, humility
• Forde: Borel's star rising | Questionable move
• Novak: Easy to fall in love with racing
• Cronley: Belmont Q&A from the e-mail circuit
• Novak: Summer Bird ready to fly | Pressure
• Plonk: Hall of Fame calls Calvin
• Jay Hovdey blog