Belmont Stakes – Trusting Your Instincts
Saturday was the day for the prized Belmont Stakes and a chance to see a possible Triple Crown Winner and end the drought on that very day. California Chrome was the horse with a chance to do it, but alas, we live another year without a Triple Crown winner.
As per my usual, I wanted to be part of what could possibly be a little bit of history, and I have read that $2 winning tickets for past Triple Crown winners are going for more today than the payout would have been at the betting window. So, I decided, not for the first time, to buy a $2 Win ticket for California Chrome.
Leading up to the big event, I started studying the horses scheduled to run the race. Immediately upon seeing the list for the first time, the colt named Tonalist struck me. I don’t know why, but he did. However, I put him to the back of my mind and started selecting my picks for the race. Some of my other picks were Commissioner, Wicked Strong and Commanding Curve – with Tonalist lingering in the back of my mind constantly. Now, I’m not usually a betting woman – that is to say I do not have a gambling problem – but I have been known to play the blackjack tables, and bet a horse every now and then.
I got up Saturday morning and collected my picks for the race and headed over to the OTB to place my bets. I placed a $2 Win bet for California Chrome, although the odds were not in favor of winning any significant money. Like I said, I was trying to stake my claim for a little piece of history. I also placed some $1 exacta box bets, including #2 Chrome in each bet. I figured if nothing else, and with all the hype, #2 was sure to come in at the very least second, right?
Wrong, but that’s a story for another time. Standing at the window having placed my last bet, I decided to go with my initial instinct and add #11 Tonalist back to my list of bets. However, I did not trust that initial instinct as much as I should have apparently, and decided to just place another $1 exacta box to include Tonalist with Chrome. I felt like I had a “sure thing” in a least one of those tickets.
When all was said and done, California Chrome did not finish first, nor second. . .not even a respectable third! At the end of the race it was called that Chrome was in a dead heat for 4th – I didn’t even want to stick around for the official call.
I did happen to see Chrome’s co-owner Steve Coburn state how upset he was that fresh horses were allowed into the race and Chrome really had no chance against them. “This is the cowards way out” he stated. I happen to agree with him in the sense that any horse vying for the Triple Crown should have to run all three races, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes (seems like the name triple says it all). Only seems fair, but I have to admit that in the heat of a losing moment, he came off as a bit of a sore loser making that statement. I think it would have had more impact if he had just waited until the next day to disclose his disgust.
Needless to say, history was not made no June 7, 2014, and I was not trusting my instincts as my mother has taught me to do all of my life. I chalk this one up to a few dollars lost, another year to wait for a possible run at yet another Triple Crown winner, and new-found proof in the old adage of trusting your instincts.