Friday, June 5, 2015

Currently Obsessing: The Belmont Stakes

American Pharoah via
This Saturday could be the most exciting thing to happen in horse racing in my lifetime if American Pharoah manages to best the Test of Champions and win the Belmont Stakes.  I know there's playoff NBA basketball going on, but no horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.  It's been quite a drought.  In all the excitement leading up to the race, I've gone down a little horse racing rabbit hole and thought I'd take you all with me.

In case it isn't obvious, I strongly think American Pharoah can win this race.  He is up against only 7 competitors, and though these horses skipped the Preakness and have had more recent rest, he's beaten the majority of them before.  More than any other horse race in the Triple Crown, bloodlines seem to matter in the Belmont.  It's the longest of the races at 1.5 miles, and the long stretch has bested many a phenomenal race horse.  Distance shouldn't be a problem for Pharoah --his grandsire, Empire Maker, won the Belmont Stakes back in 2003, so he's got the pedigree to get this distance.

Pharoah and his trainer Bob Baffert via
If you're a betting (wo)man, you may want to consider not putting money on American Pharoah. He's sure to be an overwhelming favorite come post time, and unless you want a souvenir ticket, I'll doubt you'll get a big return on a winning ticket.  A smart spoiler bet would be Keen Ice, a horse who is a dedicated closer and whose sire Curlin was an excellent distance runner in his own right.  Expect him to be flying in at the end to try to pick off a more front running American Pharoah if he begins to tire in the last few strides before the wire.  The Belmont loves a closer coming like a freight train to dash our hopes and dreams by a nose.

In the spirit of all things horse racing I've been  collecting a lot of horsey inspiration from books to read to home decor.

Like this vignette from the JLHP showhouse this spring featuring a Chinoiserie and horse vignette. It's like they want me to move in.

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Or pondering where I could convince my husband to let me use this wallpaper:

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If you are looking for excellent horse racing summer reads, I just bought Stay The Distance and you should too!  The writing is superb and if you ever loved reading horse stories growing up (The Black Stallion, the Thoroughbred series), you'll appreciate a novel about horses that's grown up with you.

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