The Belmont Stakes

Are we through yet?

I’m sorry about my apparent lack of enthusiasm, but as I’ve mentioned it’s the busiest time of the year.  This third race of the Triple Crown is the longest even though it doesn’t get the hype or coverage the other two do and usually serves as a reminder that we aren’t going to have a Triple Crown winner, not that it’s important.

For one thing Thoroughbred race horses are as ridiculously inbred as any Hillbilly, Hapsburg, or Versailles Villager (yes, I’m talking about you Luke Russert).  For another it’s just stupid to judge them on the basis of 3 races when they are a mere 3 years old.

But we’ve indulged in Bullfighting and Bear Baiting for thousands of years and cock and dog fights are still popular with a certain sadistic mindset.  Horse racing, as cruel as it is, isn’t necessarily harmful to the ponies or those that watch them.  It is a spectacular display of wasted resources by our oligarch upper class.

The Belmont Stakes are perhaps the most democratic of the Triple Crown Races even though it is held in Queens.  Indications of that are they can’t settle on a song or a drink.  The song has ranged from Sidewalks of New York, a charming Tin Pan Alley tune better known as East Side, West Side, to the Theme from New York, New York (as performed by Frank Sinatra and appropriated as the Yankees anthem and not the original Liza Minelli rendition), to 2010’s Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z (I can’t believe that will last for long).

Likewise the drink has changed from the absolutely un-potable White Carnation to the refined trashcan punch that is the Belmont Breeze.

I suggest instead the classic Cosmopolitan.

  • Ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce Cointreau
  • fluid ounce cranberry juice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Long thin piece orange zest


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, Cointreau, and cranberry and lime juices. Cover and shake vigorously to combine and chill. Strain the cosmopolitan into a chilled martini glass. Twist the orange zest over the drink and serve.

Note: The drink can also be stirred in a pitcher.

This year is the 145th running and once again there is no Triple Crown at stake so the coverage is thin indeed even though there are several compelling storylines in the 14 horse field.

  • It might be an off track, though Stars Hollow is not so very far away and you’ve been able to see shadows since 10 am so conditions should be improving.

  • Orb and Oxbow face off again in the rubber game of the match.  Orb has a breeding advantage in that he has a past Belmont winner in his bloodline.  Will this give him the stamina he needs in the longest Triple Crown race?

  • We have a filly in the mix, Unlimited Budget.  Admittedly she starts from outside, but she has shown good form so if you want to root for the underdog (or horse) you now have a choice.

Racing Ambassadors is trying to make this a more ‘Turn Left’ type experience for the proles with the $10 tickets who arrive on the Subway.  I’m not altogether sure this is a good idea.

I’m not sure this is a good idea.

I have taught you well.


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  1. ek hornbeck
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  7. ek hornbeck

    Jockeys leaving the Jockey Room.

  8. ek hornbeck
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  16. ek hornbeck

    because it takes so long to develop.

  17. terryhallinan

    Thoroughbred race horses are as ridiculously inbred as any Hillbilly, Hapsburg, or Versailles Villager

    My brother Joe liked to talk about American German Shepherds being too inbred for show to be much in the way of great guard dogs.

    That is until Joe and his wife visited finally and met our oversize pedigreed Black German Shepherd.  Joe had reason to be terrified of Coal though Coal has never harmed anyone – yet. :-)  Coal did show his displeasure with his critic and frankly worried us some.  

    Joe’s ideal is a Belgian Mallinois, which is difficult to distinguish in surface appearance from a German Shepherd but is a very different dog.  The mallinois is far more malleable but also less intelligent and agile.

    When I was growing up we had no television out in high plains country and even radio was often difficult but wild tales by John Nesbitt are still memorable.  

    His story of Roma stealing an undersize, sway-backed, ungainly colt from an English racing stable was like that of a clipper ship (the “Lucky Star”) being sunk by a meteorite in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with half the crew drowning and the other half being eaten by cannibals.

    I have never been able to find any verification of the stories that were presumably true.

    The Roma were quickly caught and offered their freedom if they would only tell why they stole the worst of the horses. The Roma told the English Lord the colt was the pick of the litter. The story goes on to outdo the tales of Seabiscuit by a mile.  

    My sister Frances had a horse like that she nicely called Lady.  Lady was a cantankerous, stubborn cuss that later almost made a girl out of me when she aimed her kick at the horse I was riding.

    Lady may not have been good for anything else but gawd she could run.  There were some few occasions when Lady was lined up with saddle horses (no, not those damnable quarter horses that look pretty much like boxy clones and can only sprint).  When the race started, Lady would shake herself out of a deep slumber, catch up with the other nags and beat them all easily.

    We were not inbred Tennessee hillbillies though we lived in high country.  You just can’t get any wilder mixed “race” [as ignoramuses think of race] than Irish Finns.

    Gawd only knows what Lady was (she was rumored to be part Shetland but any self-respecting Scott would deny that) but she wasn’t inbred.

    Inbred Tennessee hillbillies are only noted for higher mathematical powers from extra digits and how far they can spit a wad of tobacco while talking and drooling about how inferior blacks are to whites.

    Best,  Terry

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