Belmont Day One Observations
It took 25 years and a Triple Crown threat to get me to Belmont Park, but earlier today I made the two and a half hour trek down to Long Island to begin a weekend's worth of coverage as California Chrome races for his sports first Triple Crown in 36 years.
Here's what I took from today:
- Anyone who crosses a bridge near New York City is out of their mind. I paid $7.50 for three minutes on the Throggs Neck Bridge. $7.50! I can get half a beer for that at Yankee Stadium.
- Belmont Park is huge. Having lived my racing life in the cozy confines of Saratoga, I cannot understate, nor can you possibly understand, how large "Big Sandy" is. The concourses, the track, everything.
- Belmont Park is gorgeous. In a different way than Saratoga, certainly, but gorgeous nonetheless with the clubhouse's brick facing covered in ivy.
- Belmont Park is dead. At least it is on a Thursday afternoon with no races of significance.
- Belmont Park won't be on Saturday. The number you hear thrown around most often with regard to the expected attendance for California Chrome's attempt at history is 120 thousand - and some in the press box think that's conservative.
- We need to stop complaining about traffic on the Northway.
...The ride to my hotel sucked.