It's a little like being witness to the Super Bowl, or the seventh game of a World Series.
Only, the outcome is decided in just under 2 1/2 minutes by magnificent animals and their skilled jockeys. And you don't need to know somebody who knows somebody to get a ticket.
Saturday's 144th running of the Belmont Stakes pits a 3-year-old thoroughbred named "I'll Have Another"--whose co-owner lives in Monrovia--against 10 or 11 rivals in a race that could gain the colt racing immortality. On a day that the Mets and Yankees will play a Subway Series game in the Bronx, New York's most famous athlete may have four legs.
With a victory Saturday, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in May now has a chance to win horse racing's coveted Triple Crown. Since 1919, there have been 11 Triple Crown winners.
They are (according to horse-races.net):
- Sir Barton, 1919
- Gallant Fox, 1930
- Omaha, 1935
- War Admiral, 1937
- Whirlaway, 1941
- Count Fleet, 1943
- Assault, 1946
- Citation, 1948
- Secretariat, 1973
- Seattle Slew, 1977
- Affirmed, 1978
No racehorse has achieved the milestone in 34 years, since Affirmed edged Alydar at the wire in 1978. Since that storied race at Belmont Park, 11 colts attempted the feat only to fall short.
The super-hype for I'll Have Another's Triple Crown bid began Wednesday with the post-position draw. He drew post 11.