Sunday, June 7, 2015
It's no secret that I am a sucker for horse racing and yesterday was a big day, indeed! Housework and yard chores could wait while I watched the several hours of preliminary races and interviews, etc., leading up to the Belmont Stakes. I like all the hoopla surrounding a big event like the Belmont, especially since American Pharoah had a chance to win the Triple Crown. Thirty-seven years since a horse has run and won all three races, Santa Anita, Preakness, and Belmont, and up until yesterday, the Crown was taken only eleven times. It's more fun to watch a race with company (so I don't feel like a nutter yelling alone with only the dog and cats, who think I've lost my mind), and I had company in a most unusual way yesterday. The phone rang. "Has he won yet?" Cam was in the aisles of a crowded store in town. I told her the horses were just then loading into the starting gate for the big race of the day and I really couldn't talk right then. "Don't hang up! Don't hang up on me! Turn up the volume so I can hear, too!" So there we were with me supplementing the play-by-play, and both of us yelling, "Oh, my God! Hang on, baby, hang on!" American Pharoah took the lead right out of the chute and never let go. He made that mile-and-a-half look like a stroll around the block, winning with a five-horse lead. Jockey Victor Espinoza had a well-earned grin that lit up the sky. So I'm bawling in the living room and Camille was dancing around in the store when Pharoah crossed the finish line. It was thrilling to watch history being made. It was a unique pleasure to see Penny Chenery, in her 90s, in attendance at the race. She was the owner of Secretariat, winner of the Crown in 1973.