From left, Summer Bird, ridden by Kent Desormeaux,
Mine That Bird, ridden by Calvin Borel, and
Dunkirk ridden by John R. Velazquez, race toward the finish line
in the 2009 Belmont Stakes.
Image: Kathy Willens.
Kent Desormeaux, the other Cajun jockey in the Belmont Stakes, rode the other son of Birdstone, Summer Bird, to victory in today's Belmont Stakes. (Birdstone was the upset winner of the 2004 Belmont Stakes). Summer Bird is a half brother to today's favorite, Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird. Dunkirk (son of Unbridled's Song), who led the pack for most of the race, finished second, while Mine That Bird finished third.
Desormeaux is controversial because of his failures to win the Belmont Stakes. Last year, he rode the favorite, Big Brown, who casually trotted across the finish line (dead last) to the biggest Belmont Stakes loss in history. Desormeaux's other controversial loss, which was probably the biggest disappointment in the history of the race, was in 1998, when he moved Real Quiet too soon, thereby causing that horse to lose the Triple Crown by a fraction of a nose.
The final time of today's Belmont Stakes was an unimpressive 2:27.54 (world record: 2:24, Secretariat, 1973).
Video below the fold [8:53].
Order of Finish (post position), Odds, Jockey, Purse Won:
Summer Bird (4), 12-1, Kent Desormeaux, $620,000 (62%)
Dunkirk (2), 4-1, John Velazquez, $200,000 (20%)
Mine That Bird (7), 2-1, Calvin Borel, $100,000 (10%)
Charitable Man (6), 3-1, Alan Garcia, $50,000 (5%)
Luv Gov (5), 20-1, Miguel Mena, $30,000 (3%)
Flying Private (8), 12-1, Julien Leparoux
Brave Victory (10), 15-1, Rajiv Maragh
Mr. Hot Stuff (3), 15-1, Edgar Prado
Chocolate Candy (1), 10-1, Garrett Gomez
Miner's Escape (9), 15-1, Jose Lezcano
Track Attendance: 52,861
On-Track Total Wagered: $9,021,196
Pick 4 pool: $2,243,069
All-Sources Handle Totals: $89,705,994
I loved him since I saw him run his heart out in the
arkansas Derby, 17 lengths in last to finish a close 3rd. And he really ran a pretty good Derby. Yes he's half brother to Mine that Bird, but one of his great great grandfathers is a big red colt named Secretariat, maybe he got one of his heart genes, he looks a little like the champ too. Hard to believe a horse like Secretariat ever lost 5 races before winning the triple crown, and the Belmont by 31 lengths going away. Yeah I love that Summer Bird, these are true athletes.........
If anything, the time was moderately impressive, despite it's being 3.5 seconds off Secretariat's world record. Two seconds of the 3.5 should be immediately discounted, since no other Belmont winner has done better than 2:26. The time is considerably better than the mean and is in the upper third of all times since Secretariat.