The last few years, I’ve stated there could and would not be another Triple Crown winner. Well, this year could prove me wrong.
It depends on one important factor – which horse Calvin Borel rides in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday June 6. If he wins the Belmont and his personal Triple Crown, that would be unbelievable especially if he doesn’t ride Rachel Alexandra or Mine That Bird.
Riding a different horse is highly unlikely, but just think if he did and won. That would be a feat in itself. I do think that the connections of Rachel Alexandra after watching the Preakness a few times will decline and not run her in the Belmont Stakes.
The Preakness was the perfect time to run against a weak group of 3yo males. She was all out to hold off the flying Mine That Bird, who may have won if Mike Smith did not have to stop him when stuck behind a wall of horses nearing the quarter poll.
Smith swung Bird out seven wide into the lane (Bo-rail would have been charging up the inside) and was gaining on Rachel Alexandra with every stride. It was just another amazing effort by this little gelding, who has made me a believer.
Mine That Bird has found his style laying far back and making that big late run. He will be a force in the Belmont if healthy and may give Calvin that triple.
I do not want to take anything away from Rachel Alexandra as she ran her race and got the perfect trip by Borel with a little luck when the other speed in the race Big Drama got very fractious in the gate and bobbled.
In my humble opinion, on the surface it appears that Borel made the correct decision to ride Rachel but turned out to be the wrong move as he would have won with Bird and would be sitting on a horse with a big shot at winning the Triple Crown.
We will never know.
There will be new shooters in the Belmont, but not Rachel. Her connections are as sharp as they come and will not risk this $10 million filly (probably worth more now) in that race. There are some big fish to fry down the road at Saratoga and the Breeders’ Cup.
Her handlers are much too smart to run this 3yo filly back in just three weeks in a 1½-mile marathon against some very fresh foes. I don’t think she can beat Mine That Bird at that distance.
Palace special: It’s another race comp Saturday this week at Palace Station. Our buddy Zack Goldberg will be giving away the horse once again with free rooms, comps to all the restaurants, show tickets and much more.
It is a lot of fun and the Palace will be rocking. Stop by to make a $20 horse wager at any track and get a drawing ticket. Zack and the gang will draw after every race at Hollywood Park. See you at the Station.
Quite a switch: Baseball is in full swing and I hear people say how boring it is. Well, I love it and can sit and watch an entire game, which is more than I can say for the NBA.
One thing that could liven baseball up is a guy with the Yankees’ single-A Charleston River Dogs named Pat Venditte. He is a 23-year old switch pitcher, yes read right.
Pat throws left-handed when a lefty comes to bat and goes righty when a right-handed batter is in the box. He wears a specially made six-fingered glove with two thumbs and his teammates call him the octopus.
We will keep an eye out and see how Pat does and report back.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Richard Saber