The Belmont Stakes are perhaps the most democratic of the Triple Crown Races even though it is held Elmont right next to 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.
This year they are back to New York, New York because Sidewalks of New York didn’t produce a Triple Crown winner.
I suggest instead the classic Cosmopolitan.
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 147th running and again we have the possibility of a Triple Crown. While the past 36 years are littered with failure I’d argue that at least as many hopes have been dashed at Pimlico as at Belmont.
There are many problems a potential Triple Crown Winner faces at Belmont. First of all the distance. At 1 1/2 miles the Belmont is the longest of the Triple Crown races and comes hard on the heels of the sprint at Pimlico. It is still a subject of much controversy whether the schedule should be changed, especially since it’s a common tactic for many strong contenders (but losers) at the Kentucky Derby to skip the Preakness and other horses who are also strong but without the stamina to race all three Triple Crown events to skip both in order to rest and train.
This year from 7 contenders there are 3 who fit that profile- Madefromlucky, Frosted, and Materiality.
That said, the smallness of the field and lack of serious contenders other than those three give American Pharoh an excellent chance.
But the Belmont track surface is looser, sandier, and harder to run on than most tracks in the country. Also the NYRA is much stricter about “performance enhancement” than most racing associations.
So you want to know who will win? Your guess is as good as mine. Here is the line from The New York Times.
|1||Mubtaahij||10 – 1|
|2||Tale of Verve||15 – 1|
|3||Madefromlucky||12 – 1|
|4||Frammento||30 – 1|
|5||American Pharoah||3 – 5|
|6||Frosted||5 – 1|
|7||Keen Ice||20 – 1|
|8||Materiality||6 – 1|
Unfortunately, Triple Crown or not, I won’t be around to watch. If you want to take a crack at live blogging it yourself all you have to do is post “They’re off” around when the horses break from the gate and then the results when it’s over.
Post time is 6:50 pm ET on NBC. Hype starts around 4:30.
(I might update this with my collected NYT links later, but it’s too much work for right now- ek)