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Of all the Belmont Stakes I've been to, the 2001 Belmont was probably the most enjoyable.
like this year, where there is a Triple Crown on the line and it is pure insanity. That can be fun, but has usually led to heartbreak.
There are other years, like 2010, when no good horses show up and it's just a day when you go to the track.
And then there are years when there is a superstar horse, like Afleet Alex in 2005, that was tripped up in the Kentucky Derby and won the last two legs in impressive fashion. While the 2005 Belmont Stakes was thoroughly enjoyable, overcast weather and a Smarty Jones hangover took away from the experience.
In 2001, there was none of that. Coming off a brutal 2000 Belmont Stakes, even though I cashed a winner on Commendable, and three consecutive near Triple Crown misses, it felt refreshing to just watch a really big race led by a really big superstar.
Of all the Triple Crown misses, Point Given gets discussed the least but should probably top the list. As you watch him dominate the Belmont field, watch how destructively consistent he is as he goes about his business. While Afleet Alex wowed with an amazing kick, Point Given ran the competition into the ground. He rumbled. He crushed.
On a personal note, the day was made extra special for a number of reasons. First, the weather was absolutely immaculate, much like today's forecast, of 80 degree and no clouds. Second, the Clinton's made an appearance, which led to the amusing sight of Bill Clinton getting cheered on the big screen and Hilary Clinton, junior New York Senator, getting booed.
And lastly, I ran into Bob Costas. Literally. As we were leaving, I walked right into Costas because I didn't see him. Yes, insert a Bob Costas short joke. Where was Bob going? The restroom. I love horse racing.
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