Sunday, June 5, 2016

HRN: Jewels of the Third Jewel: My Favorite Editions of the Belmont Stakes

Each time I post a new article on my Horse Racing Nation blog, I post a notice on this blogThese notices include an excerpt from the beginning of that article and a link to the piece. My latest Horse Racing Nation article is. . .

"Less than a week from now, I will attend a Triple Crown race – and Belmont Park – for the first time when I stand amongst thousands to witness the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes. No Triple Crown is on the line, but I know my heart will be beating as the field breaks from the gate to commence their journey in the mile and one-half Test of the Champion.

Twelve years ago, I fell in love with horse racing as an eight-year-old horse-crazy girl – all because of the Triple Crown. Once my (sentimental) pick for the Kentucky Derby, Smarty Jones, won the first leg of the prestigious series for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, I was hooked. That day, I experienced for the first time the extreme elation horse racing can offer – a feeling that continued when Smarty Jones kept Triple Crown dreams alive with a smashing win in the Preakness Stakes. But when Birdstone passed him in the final strides of the Belmont, I faced the incredible disappointment the sport can also evoke. However, the devastating low could not overtake the overall experience. I had become a fan for life.

Since that fateful spring of loving Smarty Jones, I have not only passionately watched every single Triple Crown race, but I have delved into the sport entirely, making it my career. I have seen firsthand many top-class races in my twelve years as a racing fan – among them four Breeders’ Cups – but I have only ever watched Triple Crown races on a television screen. At last, that will change on Saturday.

In honor of attending my first Belmont, I thought I would take a look back at my top three favorite Belmonts since I have become a racing enthusiast – all of which I watched from the comfort of my own living room. . ."

Click here to read the rest of my newest Horse Racing Nation article.

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