In the end there was a feel-good story to remember as Union Rags brought the prize home to a very deserving owner Phyllis Wyeth and trainer Michael Matz tasted success again at the highest level. It is always good to see nice people win the big ones.
In a dramatic finish that echoed this year's Derby and Preakness, the front running Paytner was caught in the last strides by a very game Union Rags. For the third triple crown race in a row, a horse trained by Bob Baffert (Bob Blaffert as he is known in certain circles) was denied at the wire. I had most of my money on Paytner and was initially disappointed that the rider (pinhead) let Rags get by on the rail. In the end, I was happy Union Rags won and holding a saver exacta 3-9, we didn't have to go back to the city by railroad.
I had not been to a Belmont since War Emblem's failed bid in 2002. It really is a beautiful track with a size and scope that is breathtaking. The New York crowd included a good selection of mini wise guys and Soprano wannabes who kept us entertained all day. There also was a girl who was topless at the paddock while they were saddling the horses for the Belmont:
It was a great day of racing. Our group parted ways after a great dinner in the city with plans to meet again at Del Mar, Saratoga or Breeders Cup for more racing later in the year.