[UPDATE: Summer Bird, not Mine That Bird, wins the Belmont Stakes. Mine That Bird comes in 3rd.]
The final leg of the Triple Crown will be run tomorrow, Saturday June 6. However, there will be no Triple Crown horse winner. The only triple crown winner there might be is Calvin Borel, the jockey who rode Mine That Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness.
So he comes full circle and Borel has guaranteed that Mine That Bird (post position 7) will win the Belmont Stakes. Borel says in the NYRA,
“I’m confident, I got a great colt and he shows up every time. Hopefully he’ll like this surface and he’ll like the trip he gets around there. He seems to really get over the racetrack good, so that gave me a lot of confidence. We’re ready, it’s just a matter if we’re ready enough.”
Woolley, Borel, and the owners of Mine That Bird, Mark Allen and Leonard Blach were in Manhattan earlier in the week to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Its been quite a ride for all these men.
So just where is Rachel Alexandra, Preakness winner? Viewers will recall that Mine That Bird roared up on Rachel Alexandra as she went over the finish line. Those of us who chat horse-racing all commented that on a longer track, like the Belmont, which is a mile and a half track, there might have been a different outcome. Apparently her owners share that feeling, according to racing websites:
Rachel Alexandra and the people closest to her know when it’s time to step off stage, if only temporarily. Owner Jess Jackson and trainer Steve Asmussen pulled the 3-year-old filly from Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Calling their decision wise understates it.
Her Pimlico Preakness triumph was her fourth consecutive graded stakes win of 2009. Jackson and Asmussen realized their weary lass might have tanked in a Belmont field that includes several fresh horses, and asking her to run the Belmont’s additional 550 yards was too much. They didn’t need to put her in the race to sense that.
Mine That Bird is a come-from-behind horse who appears out of nowhere, and wins—a horse everyone seems to love. One has to ask if Borel had ridden him in the Preakness, would we have a Triple Crown winner?
Why is it that I just think Calvin Borel is a spoiler? Has he never heard the expression ‘dance with the one who brung ya?’ The racing season really has turned into a soap opera: As the Triple Crown Turns? I imagine when this is all over the humans will all start talking about each other like they are dogs. Meanwhile, I just wish that Mine That Bird had been allowed in the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell. Small consolation for missing the Triple Crown by a length.
Charitable Man, Dunkirk, Summer Bird, Mr. Hot Stuff, Flying Private, Luv Gov, Miner’s Escape, Brave Victory, and Chocolate Candy for a field of 10.