You would think the racing elites at Belmont would love to see a Triple Crown winner, but instead they are focused on the little trouble trainer Doug O’Neill has been fighting for two years.
Trouble he has been exonerated from for the most part. Now the stewards don’t like the nasal strips I’ll Have Another wears. They are not illegal in New York but as far as the almighty stewards are concerned he cannot and will not be allowed to wear them for the Belmont Stakes.
It amazes me that Europe’s super horse Frankel, winner of 10 straight, wears the exact same nasal strips. As this comedy show continues we can see why racing is cast in such a bad light, keeps losing players on a daily basis and cannot attract new bettors to the game.
We have a chance to see a rare feat, a Triple Crown winner, yet it seems jealousy has prevailed. That’s just my opinion and I hope a wrong view. But the wagons have been circled and you will see a lot of race riding as they try preventing I’ll Have Another and team O’Neill from winning a race that would do big things for the racing industry.
We will wait and see. If this horse is great he will find a way to get the job done. There have been many big name horses that have failed at Belmont with big time jockeys in the irons. If the racing gods are with the young Mario Gutierrez, racing just may get that needed shot in the arm despite a lot of people trying to deny him.
All we ask for as bettors and fans of the game is a fair race with the best horse winning. I hope that will happen no matter what horse wins. I will post my Belmont selections in next week’s column.
I will be heading out to Pittsburgh and Steubenville this week, visiting my Aunt Ne Ne and staying with old friends on 213. I will have the luxury of staying in the west wing of the Tom “Terrible” Wilson estate, a car to drive plus lots of food and beer at some of our old spots.
I’ll see my cousin Greg Lamatrice, who will be starting seminary this August in Pittsburgh. I know we will have a meatball on the heel at Naples. The Reds are in Pittsburgh so look out, here I come.
This has been one crazy baseball season so far with the king of the one-run games, the Pirates, sitting third in the NL Central just four games out and one game under .500. The Pirates got their first three-run homer of the year Sunday sweeping the Cubs. Pittsburgh is 13-9 in one-run games and the season is still young.
The division races are getting tighter and tighter, with the Angels starting to gain a little ground on the Rangers in the AL West as they have moved into second place just six games out. The only division that looks safe is the NL West with the Dodgers the best team and holding a 7½-game cushion.
The other divisions are all crap shoots. Anything can happen and most likely will happen.
There is one great streak going on as the “Cubbies” have dropped 12 straight games. Sometimes you just have to get on for the ride and stay on. And, this was a case that staying made you a lot of money.
It is hard to believe, but the Braves have lost seven straight going into Monday’s game with the Cardinals – another money making streak if on for the ride. The Angels have won six in a row going into their Monday nighter with the Yanks who have won five straight. One of these streaks will continue.
Things are really going to heat up as we move into the “dog days of summer” and a very exciting baseball season.
Looking forward to next week with the Belmont, hopefully good weather and a huge crowd to witness history.