Weekend Racing at Belmont
Belmont Park was again the venue of great upset and unexpected triumph on Saturday, 28 June 2008, as the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes and Grade 1 Suburban Handicap thrilled, excited and disappointed racing fans. With each spectator having their own favorite horse in the respective horse racing events, it seemed to be a weekend for the long shots and surprises. But, as many in the horse racing industry know, nothing is cast in stone, and in racing anything can happen.
The $250 000 Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes was held for three year old fillies, and the contender line up for the race consisted of Proud Spell, Music Note, Hamsa and Never Retreat. The race got underway from a very shaky start, with Post 1 starter Hamsa stumbling out the gates and cutting off Proud Spell. Even though Proud Spell, the hot favorite for the race, was able to recover from the upset, it gave Never Retreat the opportunity to take the lead from a clean start. Music Note also stumbled on her way out of the starting gates, but pulled it together for jockey Javier Castellano. They immediately started to chase down Never Retreat, while Proud Spell was battling it out on the rail. Music Note, daughter of A.P. Indy, took the lead for her third consecutive win in her fourth career start. Even though Proud Spell finished second, she was penalized on bumping Never Retreat and was placed in third position.
The $400 000 Grade 1 Suburban Handicap for five year old horses and older, saw A.P Arrow in the starting gates as the favorite, joined by Frost Giant, Harlington, Solar Flare, Hunting, Rising Moon, Naughty New Yorker and Merchant Marine. For most of the race, Solar Flare, Naughty New Yorker and Frost Giant battled it out amongst themselves, but it would be 40-1 Frost Giant that managed to inch past his rivals and take the lead. Coming in behind the Rick Dutrow Jr. trained, Frost Giant, was Solar Flare in second, Rising Moon in third, followed by Harlington, Merchant Marine, A.P. Arrow, Naughty New Yorker and Hunting.
Even though the weekend turned up a few disappointments, both the Suburban Handicap and Mother Goose Stakes brought spectators to their feet, as the deserving contenders of these races ran to the best of their abilities and provided racing fans with unforgettable horse racing action. It was a weekend of talent, speed and unmistakably magnificent horses.