It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the 146th Belmont Stakes day will be a huge one come June 7. Given the fact most, including yours truly, have no idea what mathematical notations are used in calculating the kinetic density of the space shuttle launch, we will rely on a part of the human body as the abacus for our ciphering.
When you happen to pull up for one of the holiday cookouts, something usually tells you the magnitude of what is about to happen. Of course it is the smell of it all. A waft of the grill along with the sweet smell from the magnolia tree means it is all good. The olfactory nerves are also telling us New York is going to play host to a big day.
The hottest item on today’s front is the nasal strip worn by Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome. The racing stewards have issued approval for its use during the Belmont Stakes. Did anyone really think they would deny him and potentially lose Chrome from what will be the most anticipated Belmont since 2008? It is claimed the strip can prevent bleeding in the lungs so that might curtail the need for Lasix by other trainers…that is if they are really using the Lasix for that reason.
Another way the nose tells us the day of the Belmont will be huge is the race schedule. Folks on the East Coast have thought the recent Breeders’ Cup schedule stinks. Originally, the world championships were supposed to be rotated around the major tracks in the country, but the Cup has not visited Belmont Park since 2005 and was last on the East Coast in 2007 (Monmouth Park). So in an effort to have their own racing “super stakes day”, the New York Racing Association has designed an event that will feature 10 stakes races with the Belmont as the centerpiece. With prestigious races like the Manhattan, Acorn, Ogden Phipps, and Metropolitan Mile on the slate, top Thoroughbreds from all over should descend on Long Island. If all goes according to plan, a record crowd and huge handle will produce the smell of money and that will greatly override the stench of the snub.
The last way the nose knows is the smell in the air. It doesn’t take a beagle to detect the odoriferousness of excitement and anticipation filling the air. There are people far and wide talking horses these days. The combination of California Chrome and the early summer showdown in the other divisions makes for something that smells great.