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Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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Belmont week is upon us – while we know we won’t see a Rachel Alexandra-Mine That Bird showdown on Saturday (although I hope that happens in the Travers), we will have a fantastic day of racing ahead of us. Belmont day is one of my favorite days of racing all year, largely because of the fantastic undercard it features, and this year is no exception.

The True North should be interesting, with Fabulous Strike and Kodiak Kowboy taking on Disco’s Son and Per Incanto. It definitely has the makings of an interesting betting race.

I’ll wait to see the final entries for the Just a Game, but I like Forever Together; I may also go for my Belmont fallback position of ‘Alan Garcia’s horse’ which seems to pay off not infrequently.

The year’s Acorn is a little lacking in star power (and out of all the races on Belmont day, it has probably had the most storied list of winners: Gallorette, Shuvee, Susan’s Girl, Chris Evert, Ruffian et al.) but Justwhistledixie will likely be the deserving favorite, with Just Jenda and Doremifasollatido getting some action as well.

Perhaps the toughest race on the card will be the Woody Stephens – Like Jessica, I’m not sure what to make of Hello Broadway at this point, but Hull is very interesting and I’m intrigued to see Regal Ransom as a possible starter. This Ones For Phil should like the distance.

In the Manhattan Handicap, 10-year-old Better Talk Now will be making his 50th start and it will have one of the most interesting lineups on the card – Court Vision and Cowboy Cal have both come into their own since moving to the turf, and Grand Couturier and Gio Ponti are always dangerous. While I don’t think this will be Better Talk Now’s year to grab a second victory in the race, Brass Hat’s recent resurgence demonstrates that it’s a bad idea to discount the old guys out of hand.

And as for the big race – well, you’ll have to check back tomorrow (and the rest of the week) for that. But I’m certainly hoping to see Calvin Borel win his own personal Triple Crown on Mine That Bird – he’s going to be a busy man this week, what with ringing The Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and making various media appearances around town.

I’ll just be happy to be back on my old stomping grounds – a real bagel before heading to the track and a Nathan’s Famous hot dog with (hopefully) a Brooklyn Lager will be in order once I arrive…

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