Saturday, June 05, 2004

Today is the Day

(AP Photo/Don Wright)

Today is finally the day that Smarty Jones has the opportunity to capture the Triple Crown. A win at the Belmont Stakes would make Smarty Jones the first Triple Crown winner in my lifetime. If Smarty wins, he would become perhaps the most unlikely Triple Crown winner ever. Smarty comes from mediocre bloodlines and was born at a Pennsylvania farm. He is owned by a retired used car salesman from Philly and is based out of Philadelphia Park in Bensalom, PA. Smarty has overcome the murder of his orginial trainer and a near fatal accident in the starting gates before his first start as a two year-old. Smarty is now trained by a man who grew up on the back stretch at Charleston Downs in Charleston, WV. Despite Smarty's successes, team Smarty has stuck with journeyman jockey Stewart Elliot, the leading jock at Philly Park who has overcome alcoholism and a criminal record.

Today will be another tough test for Smarty. The Belmont is the longest of the three Triple Crown races, and the forecast is calling for rain. This could help Smarty's main challenger, Rock Hard Ten, because Rock Hard Ten is far larger than the slight Smarty Jones.

Even if you've never watched a horse race before, the Belmont Stakes will be well-worth watching. Post time for the Belmont Stakes is scheduled for 6:38 pm. Coverage begins on NBC at 5:30.