Well…safe to say I didn’t have that one.
Drosselmeyer took over in deep stretch and upset the Belmont.
First Dude went right to the rail after the start to control the pace. I wasn’t entirely sure he’d be able to get there, but he did so rather easily. The first quarter mile in 24.15 seconds, which is quicker than I thought it would be, though I wasn’t entirely surprised. I kind of thought that First Dude would have to hustle out of the gate in order to grab the lead anyway, and that would produce a fast quarter mile.
He was able to slow down by a full second over the next quarter mile, making the half in 49.19 seconds. Interactif was about a length off the lead, with Game On Dude and Uptowncharlybrown each another length behind Interactif. At this point I started to think that First Dude would be able to wire the field.
The third quarter slowed down again, going in 1:14.94, slowing down another second or so. As they entered the far turn, it looked as though First Dude would be able to hold everyone off. Drosselmeyer started his move about 4-wide and in the clear. He had plenty left in the tank and overtook First Dude with ease. Fly Down made a nice late move, but it was way too late and he got up for second.
Ice Box was the heavy favorite all day, but he didn’t fire at all. He finished 9th, and was never in contention for the race. Nick Zito trains both Ice Box and Fly Down, and said after the race “I’m obviously disappointed in Ice Box. He was ready to go the last couple of days, but I guess he just left his race somewhere. He certainly didn’t run, that’s for sure.”
So, another year without a Triple Crown winner in the books. It’s been 32 years and counting since Affirmed accomplished the feat. Unfortunately, I think it’s a legitimate question whether or not we’ll ever see one again. That’s another post for another day. For now, I’m going to watch as many two-year-old races as I possibly can. Next year’s Derby winner is out there somewhere.