There are lots of other things to see at Belmont besides the racing. Here are some miscellaneous and scenic photos for you to enjoy. Click the small photo too see a larger version.
They did a salute to the military before the first race including a color guard and an Air Force C-17 cargo plane doing a flyover. Here is TSgt Kim Lively of the US Air Force Band of Liberty, Hanscom AFB MA, singing of the National Anthem in the winner's circle.
On Saturday, jockeys at racetracks across the country wore these stickers on their boots as a show of support for recently injured jockey Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) and many riders donated one losing mount fee from their Saturday earnings to Douglas. NYRA also made a $5,000 contribution to the PDJF. Douglas was seriously injured on May 23 of this year during a race at Arlington Park and unlikely to walk again. In 1996, he won the Belmont Stakes aboard Editor's Note and during last year's Belmont Stakes program, he guided Dancing Forever to victory in the Manhattan Handicap.
There was a tragic accident on May 21st where a horse named City On Line dumped his jockey and ran back through the tunnel into the paddock where he ran into the Secretariat statue. The base of the statue was destroyed, although the statue itself was not damaged, and the horse had to be euthanized due to the injuries he suffered. So it would not be missing for the Belmont Stakes, they put the statue on a temporary wooden base until the polished concrete block with Secretariat's history engraved on it can be replaced. Here are two views of the statue on the temporary base with the traditional carnations draped on top.
Singer Linda Eder performed the traditional song "New York, New York" during the post parade for the Belmont Stakes this year. She also gave a concert in the backyard behind the grandstand after the races.
The post parade for the Manhattan Stakes
This large cast iron piece about 4 feet tall hangs just inside the clubhouse entrance of Belmont Park. In 1997 they started a new tradition where the colors of the winning horse are painted on one of these jockeys.
It wouldn't be the Belmont Stakes without large numbers of security, police, and even SWAT team members with automatic weapons hanging out in the winner's circle. As the day goes on, the number increases and at one point I saw six SWAT team guys there.
Fans in the backyard were treated to a concert all afternoon by the Godfrey Townsend Band. Townsend is a the New York-based musician who has performed nationwide with John Entwistle of The Who, Dave Mason from Traffic and Alan Parsons. They were quite good and when I was back there they were doing Beatles and Paul McCartney songs.
As pretty and sunny as it was on Saturday, it was horrible on Friday with rain all day and chilly temperatures in the 50's. Here is the track around 6am during the morning works. As you can see it was quite muddy and they had the dogs up to protect the inside lanes.
The jockeys enter the padddock for the Brooklyn Handicap on Friday with Belmont Park's signature pine tree in the background.
Triple Crown quick links:
Oxbow upsets in the Preakness - Oxbow led the entire way in the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday at Pimlico with Itsmyluckyday second and Mylute third. Heavy favorite Orb made a mild move to finish fourth. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Preakness undercard stakes results - There were 7 other stakes on the card, highlighted by the Dixie Stakes (G2) won by Skyring and the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) won by Summer Applause. Get the results, charts, and photos for 6 of the races here.
Fiftyshadesofhay wins the Black-Eyed Susan - Fiftyshadesofhay just got up to win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) on Friday at Pimlico by a neck over Marathon Lady with favorite Emollient 6th. On the undercard, Last Gunfighter won the Pimlico Special (G3). Get the results, charts, and photos here.
Analyzing the Preakness Stakes Contenders for 2013 - My annual analysis using popular angles and statistical trends to see who best matches the profile of a Preakness winner. The big surprise is that Kentucky Derby winner Orb is not in the top group!
Orb wins the Kentucky Derby - Orb was far back early but took the lead in the stretch and drew off to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) by 2 1/2 lengths over longshot Golden Soul and Revolutionary. Get the results, charts, and photos here.
More Kentucky Derby Photos - More photos from the day including more of Orb, the trophy, the roses, Martina McBride, and lots of mud.
Kentucky Derby undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Derby day including the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) won by 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan and the Humana Distaff Stakes (G1) won by Aubby K. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Princess of Sylmar upsets in the Kentucky Oaks - She rallied from far back to win the Kentucky Oaks by a half length over Beholder and Unlimited Budget, while favorite Dreaming of Julia was fourth. Get the results, chart, and photos here.
Kentucky Oaks undercard stakes results - There were 5 other stakes on Oaks day including the La Troienne Stakes (G2) won by Authenticity and the Alysheba Stakes (G3) won by Take Charge Indy. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
Kentucky Oaks Entries - A field of 11 fillies will go, with Gulfstream Oaks winner Dreaming of Julia favorite at 3-1 from post 8. Get the post positions, odds, and free past performances here.
Top Kentucky Derby Contenders - my list of the top horses headed to the Derby with profiles for each with photos, stats, and link to more info like past performances and pedigree.
Analyzing the top 2013 Kentucky Derby contenders - My annual analysis of the top contenders to try and select a winner by matching each to the profile of a Kentucky Derby winner using many of the more popular angles and statistical trends. This year there were is a 3-way tie for the top spot: Goldencents, Normandy Invasion, and Overanalyze.
2013 Kentucky Derby And Oaks Security - New enhanced stricter rules will be enforced this year. Be sure to read the rules as many have changed and more things are banned. There will still be magnetic wand searches of all patrons and many things are no longer allowed. Check here to make sure you don't bring anything they will confiscate.
Review: Triple Crown Handicapper 2013 - by Jim Mazur. Includes lots of stats for all 3 races and explains how to use a system of statistically derived negative angles to eliminate the "bad" picks.
Review: Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments - Commemorative DVD from Churchill Downs with video from 27 different runnings along with interviews, photos, and historical info. Definitely recommended for any racing fan!
Review: Churchill Downs - America's Most Historic Racetrack by Kimberly Gatto. An entertaining and informative account of the history of the track and it's most famous race, the Kentucky Derby, with lots of photos. Definitely recommended.