Uncharacteristically for me I missed watching the Belmont live. Perhaps it was because there was no chance of a Triple Crown winner, or that that there just wasn’t very much hype about the race this year. Certainly it wasn’t because I was doing something more interesting . . . I was, in fact, shepherding my daughter and her friend around the mall which is not high on my list of activities.
So, thank goodness for YouTube! I’d never heard of Drosselmeyer before the race. If anything, I was rooting for First Dude, a horse that overcomes the banality of his name with rock star good looks and a huge stride.
First Dude looked very strong, leading the field for most of the race. At the end, he was run down by Drosselmeyer who is known for starting slow and picking up momentum. Trainer Bill Mott told Smith to let the horse find his rhythm and that’s what he did. For him, the longer distance was ideal and Smith rode him with tact.
Finishing second was Fly Down who had beat Drosselmeyer in the past.
For Mott and Smith, both inductees to the Racing Hall of Fame, this was their first Belmont win — on a horse that few expected to see cross the finish line first.