Hello friends! Welcome to Friday! What a difference a week makes. I couldn't imagine having a better start to June, and I hope you are all feeling the same great energy. Two thoughtful reminders from this week: 1) if you feel compelled to do something, do it and 2) take a chance, say "hello!"
I'm sure you are all planning your Saturday schedules around the Belmont Stakes. Post time is 6:50 PM EST, so there should be plenty of daylight available for a few other June shenanigans. As you contemplate and place your bets, I encourage you to take into account "the physiology and biochemistry involved in equine race recovery." Lexi Pandell wrote an amazing piece for Slate providing scientific evidence as to why American Pharaoh will not win. Horses + Science. What's not to love?! Read it.
But, if you are running short on time before your hot date, I've compiled ten fun facts to tide you over. But seriously, read the article. Spoiler alert: there might not be enough glycogen or calcium! Grab a pineapple vodka and may the odds be ever in your favor American Pharaoh!
googled: Belmont Stakes fun facts
- Since 1905, the No. 1 post has produced the most winners: 23. (American Pharaoh just won the Preakness from this position. Maybe it could be lucky twice?!)
- Secretariat posted the fastest race time (2:24) in 1973. (Not too shabby for a mile and a half...)
- The Belmont Stakes is the oldest of the Triple Crown races, as its first run occurred all the way back in 1867.
- The white carnation is the traditional flower of the race. The blanket of 300-400 carnations worn by the winner takes 10 hours to put together.
- The Belmont Stakes is the fourth oldest race in North America. The Phoenix Breeders' Cup (The Phoenix Stakes) was 1831, The Queen's Plate (Canada) in 1860, The Travers at Saratoga began in 1864, and the Belmont's first was 1867.
- Five times the Belmont Stakes went off with only two horses in the field -- 1887, 1888, 1892, 1910, and 1920. (The infamous Man o' War won in 192.)
- The largest field contained 15 horses in 1983.
- Post parades were not always a thing. It wasn't until the 5th running (1871) of the Belmont Stakes that this tradition was created.
- Running counterclockwise was not the customary direction, until 1921. Before that year, horses raced clockwise - the traditional direction of English races.
- The first 23 Belmont races (1867-1889) were run a few miles north of Manhattan at Jerome Park, named for Leonard Jerome, maternal grandfather of Winston Churchill.
Perfect! Now you are all set! Below are a few gems from my equestrian days at Boston College. Miss those sassy cats, except the ponies. Don't mess with the ponies. #NapoleonComplex