Matt Wooley/EquiSport Photos


If he wins the Belmont, how close did he come to being a Triple Crown winner?









  A trip to Belmont Park is a must-do, tons of history there, really, other than Churchill Downs, there is no other place where there has been magical runs (Secretariat) as well as Tragic runs (Ruffian).


I have been many times to Belmont, but just once to the Belmont Stakes –  a drive down to cheer on the mighty EASY GOER, hoping that he would get his revenge on that jet-black nemesis they called Sunday Silence. It was a stunning showing – he crushed his rival while I sat and hollered a loud as I could – yep, sweet justice.

At least that day.


I was at Belmont on Oct. 27, 1990, for the Breeders’ Cup. I had my binocs glued to one of the most thrilling events of the day, the BAYAKOA – GO FOR WAND match-up and then they hooked up turning for home, the noise of the crowd stomach-churning.

And then Go for Wand broke her leg, fell, got up and started to run again. The shrieks, cries and wails around me, I will never forget. It was soon silent. That Breeders’ Cup day was not the same the rest of the afternoon. You never know what you will see at Belmont Park but it’s backstretch, it’s paddock, it’s giant track, are all magical…


Look at level 2, far to the right and maybe you can see yours truly!

The great EASY GOER in the Belmont









With 12 survivors of the Triple Crown trail set to clash in tomorrow’s 143rd Belmont Stakes, you can call this group

of 3-year-olds the Rodney Dangerfields, because they get no respect — at least from the speed boys who judge a

horse’s quality on the numbers he runs.

Len Friedman is a partner in the Ragozin Sheets that generate speed figures (the lower the number, the better) based

on such factors as final time, track variant, weight carried and ground lost. He told the Post: “Our numbers reflect

the effort the horses put out from the starting gate to the finish line, and they’re comparable from year to year.”

Based on the Sheets, Friedman said, “This is a relatively slow crop. There are fewer horses that have run good

numbers, there’s nobody that’s run an outstanding number, and most of them are pretty ordinary compared to previous


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There is nobody more eager to show up in the winner’s circle after the Belmont Stakes than Ahmed Zayat.

Sure, Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown is being trumpeted as the rubber match between Kentucky Derby winner

Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford. But Zayat is confident his colt Nehro is poised to shed a runner-up

reputation and win the 1 1/2 -mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the Triple Crown races.

Nehro has finished second in his last three starts, including the Kentucky Derby. Zayat contends Nehro is the most

consistent 3-year-old of the bunch and is certain his horse does not have “seconditis.”

“We’ve been second, second, second every dance,” Zayat said the other morning at Belmont Park. “He’s versatile: you

can see him at the rail, near the pace, closing like a freight train. The mile-and-a-half is a non-issue. We’re very

confident he’s ready. … I don’t want to be a bridesmaid again.”

Zayat is all too familiar with close calls. Two years ago, his Pioneerof the Nile finished second in the 2009

Kentucky Derby behind 50-1 shot Mine That Bird. A year ago his Derby favorite Eskendereya was sidelined with an

injury less than a week before the race and was retired.


CANANDIAN EUGENE MELNYK cheers for Bridgetown

BRIDGETOWN, the fleet turf sprinter owned by Canadian EUGENE MELNYK is among the entries for Tuesday’s KING STAND

STAKES (GI) on the first day of the Royal Ascot meeting in England.