I've been staying pretty quiet on the whole American Triple Crown this year. I've watched each race, and silently held my breath. Now Belmont Day is here - The Test, when the racing world and several others will watch to see if Big Brown can do it.
Racing has been through a rough time lately, and perhaps for good reason. While I don't believe it's all as dramatic as PETA would have us believe, there are things that should be looked at in the industry. There's no single fix. It's all too easy to sit on the outside and judge, and the amount of misinformation that's been flying around in the last few weeks, since the tragic Derby, is astounding.
Big Brown is an imperfect hero. Nobody really likes his connections (do they?) and it can be hard to overlook them sometimes, though BB did a pretty good job as he exploded to the lead in the Preakness. His foot issues have been widely publicized - and with irony, this morning, the horse cited as having the best chance to foil his bid has been scratched with a stone bruise. A victory by Casino Drive would have been monumental in its own right - his mother has produced the last two Belmont winners. Three, let alone three in a row, would have been huge; some say more significant that a Triple Crown winner after thirty years. One of the biggest criticisms about BB is that he's running against a weak crop of three-year olds. I'm not sure that would take away from a win today, when it comes right down to it.
I'm not making any predictions. This is horse racing after all, and anything can happen. My own horses will come in early so that I can make the trek to a friend's to watch the big race. I did consider how cool it might be to be at Belmont today, but with the way summer seems to have shown up with this hot, humid weather, I'll admit I'm just as happy to be watching on TV. With a bunch of others out there, I'll still be holding my breath till post time.