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Belmont 2011: Gotta Have the Game 

It is The Week of the Great Stack, and we aren't unchained until 5 PM, which means that I had an enjoyable ten minute sprint from the Kentucky Convention Center back to the hotel, lest I miss any extremely important updates concerning the whereabouts of Kegasus.  I burst into  my cell just as Belmont backside workers were hurling clods of dirt at Donna Brothers to illustrate what it's like to ride at the back of a field.  Whew.  I almost missed this vital cornerstone to an in-depth understanding of Thoroughbred racing.

-Tom Hammond is amused.  "Wash behind your ears, Donna!"  Haha!  Girls are unhygenic.

-GARY STEVENS!  is here, and we're safe now.  He is further correcting his tragic Kentucky Derby Error of Many Patterns at Once, and has reported for duty in a grey tie and black jacket. 

-BABY.  HORSE.  You may now go about your lives.

-Prelim feature:  Animal Kingdom came out of obscurity and the back of the pack, only to BITTERLY DISAPPOINT YOU ALL in the Preakness.  You may now go about your lives... if you can.

-Odds.  Shackleford is 8-1 and tweeting "H8rz gotta h8, bitches."

-Here's a crapload of useless designer shoes to look at.  Beacause you don't want to be off-track with your footwear!  Oh, we're just getting started.

-Mucho Macho Man's excuse for sucking in the Derby, the Preakness, and at life was, apparently, his shoes.  Now he has these flexible alumninum jobbies with rhinestones and stripper heels, and they cost $600 a month, and isn't that amusing!

-Ooooooh.  NBC is broadcasting "Summer at Saratoga" in August.  I am pumped. No seriously.  Oh wait... Price of admission:  Ads for The Voice.  No longer pumped.

-Someone utters the following sentence:  "While Bim Bam rides the rail..."  Horseracing is awesome.

-GARY STEVENS! uses the word "gallant."   That is so hot.

-Remember when "Literally" actually meant something?

-This track is frickin' nasty.  It's going to be Jello Pudding wrestling by the end of the first 8th, and me without an HDTV. 

-Noted British trainer Graham Motion is interviewed with his noted British accent.  He is wearing a tan raincoat.  It's a London Fog one, isn't it? 

-Bob Costas is standing against the Secretariat statue is such a way that it looks like the horse's tail is streaming out of the right side of head.  Bob, I've seen you in person.  And I've seen photographs of Secretariat standing next to people who are not you.  Please alert the forced perspective camera angle that it's not exactly working.

-Mucho Macho Man.  Hey Kathy, remember when you got your heart transplant?

-Interview with owner Mike Ripole, because he owns Stay Thirsty, and might win, and Kevin Plank, who owns Monzon, who really might not win, but gets interviewed anyway, because he is hawt.

-To Bob Neimeyer, standing with Shackleford trainer Dale Romans:  "Dale, how do you win this race?"  " I think we go to the lead."  Dale is a complicated man.

-Bob and his latest new show, Talkin' Trash with Barry Irwin.  They are sitting side by side on a wrought-iron bench and pick up right where they left off in the Preakness:  What does Barry Irwin think of crack babies, and war orphans, and the Holocaust?

-Shackleford, meanwhile, has been conditioning his mane since the Preakness.  Nice bounce, not too much shine.

-GARY STEVENS! confirms that out here in New York,  fans are "a little bit different."

  "As a matter of fact," he says, in aggressively dulcet tones, "I had my first beer thrown on me on the undercard of the Belmot."  You have been warned, New York.  He lies in wait.  The revenge will come when you least expect it, but it.  Will come.

-Ad featuring a baby whale.  You're not cute, baby whale.  You're still a whale.  Go fend for yourself.

-Equine anatomy lesson:  "We should point out that the horses don't have goggles, but they have a third eyelid instead."  That is perhaps my favorite Little Known Horse Fact.  My favorite go-to Little Known Astronaut Fact used to be that the crews wore adult diapers out to the launchpad, but well, that ain't so Little Known anymore.

-Interesting silks choice here from the owners of Santiva, who is apparently sponsored by an unholy alliance between Purina Cat Chow the Galactic Empire

-Rather than inflicting n-bombs, and, worse, the Disney Channel upon the soft unsuspecting New York crowd, Sinatra's recording of New York, New York is blasted across the mud.  Why?  Dumping it went so well last year!

-Ruler on Ice, not a Sinatra fan.

-Master of Hounds breaks off early from the post parade.  Aw, let him.  He has a skinny little tail, the other colts make fun of him, let him have his little fit.

-Shackleford also breaks out of the post parade.  See?  You let one do it, they all have to do it.  Anarchy.

-Shackleford is washy again and continues to hates people.  He's pretty much my favorite all-time horse.

-Apparently reeling from the furor of The Readers concerning her detrimental anti-fat comments from the Preaknees, Donna Brothers now kindly mentions tat one hosre "has actually gained some weight... he looks good!"  That's horrible.  DONNA BROTHERS ADVOCATES CHILDHOOD OBESITY.

-This post parade is now officially such a cluster that they crew can't even keep Derby winner Animal Kingdom in the frame.  Next thing you know the entants are going to go all Lord of the Flies on us and start shiving each other right in the gate. I cannot wait.


-Oh dear-- Animal Kingdom has clipped heels with another entrant.  That means the horse stops for a moment, but jockey John Velazquez keeps going.  This is exactly as bad as it sounds, but he somehow manages to stay in the saddle.

-Ruler on Ice is the winner, and he's still so pissed about the whole Sinatra thing that he doesn't even want to go into winner's circle.  I'm partial to carnations in a big way, but when the other horses are getting roses?  Yeah, I feel you, Ruler on Ice.

-Ruler On Ice's owner, running around the dirt in a navy blue suit coat and a stupid hat, has lost his place in the oldest established permanent floating craps game in New York.  By the time he gets the trophy, he hoists it by the horses' hind legs.  Klassy.

-Wait, Saturday Night Live is still on the air?

-This all resumes the first Saturday in May from Kentucky!  I'll bring the liquor.

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