I'm deviating away from music for the third consecutive post (and my first since April 2009) to talk about the Belmont Stakes. I went this year, for the first time since 2000 (or maybe 2001, I don't remember) and pretty much dreaded it. Being that only 50,000 or so would show up, I was kinda amped to attend and see a few good stakes races too. Oh yeah and the Belmont. That, too.
So I parked ($10, as opposed to the $2 on other days) and all of a sudden I realized why I had stayed away. College kids were tailgating just about everywhere and while that's festive and convivial and cool, it's not my thing and kinda off-putting. But so be it, so it goes. I walked in and paid the $10 (it's $2 every other day) and tried to find a reserved ticket window. I bought a program ($5, up $2.50 from the everyday price) and watched the races from the second tier, near the LIRR entrance. Upon overhearing that reserved ticket sales were upstairs, I headed up there and got a seat on the third tier auxiliary. I was so high up I only saw the last 500 yards of each race. And then there were the masses of people, most of whom were inebriated or intoxicated. This was only 50,000. I cannot imagine 100,000. I don't do well with crowds and just 50,000 was too much for me. Upon leaving after Summer Bird's victory, I reminded myself why I enjoy the races on a ho-hum weekday or a sunny weekend with a Grade III. I like the space and the quiet and the wise guys. I can do without all the rest. Even if most of them are the glue to keeping this race aloft.
As for the race, like I said, I didn't see much. But Summer Bird's move was awesome. I think it's great that his trainer, in his first year of training has won a Belmont. That's wild. He's only 35. That's even more crazy. I also read that his owners have been in the game since the 80s and once had a champion with LeRoy Jolley. They are both Indian, doctors and bred Summer Bird themselves. Kinda cool, actually.
Alright that's enough. One of these days I'll write about music in this thing. At least I think. I hope. Who knows?