Saturday, June 7 marks Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. However, it’s not the only stakes race on the schedule, as for it’s the first time on this hishistoric day that there will be overall ten stakes events on the same card to the delight of the anticipated packed crowd. However, all eyes will be on the Belmont Stakes, in the late afternoon, with the Metropolitan Mile, also being focused upon.
The Belmont Stakes also marks the return to action of a horse named Wicked Strong, whose Rajiv Maragh, already a fixture here at New York Racing Association tracks, being the rider, and whose trainer is Jimmy Jerkens. This thoroughbred finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the triple crown for three-year-olds. This horse did not compete in the Preaknes, as the owner decided to rest him.
California Chrone will attempt to be the first horse to sweep the triple crown since Affirmed did the what was supposed to be the impossible in 1978, in a tremendous dual with Alydar down the stretch. It seems to be a difficult task for a horse to sweep all three legs of the triple crown.
Maragh, who was aboard Wicked Strong in the Derby, is trying to become the first horse to win all three events. Not many three-year-olds have done so, and this race is exclusively for horses of this age.
Maragh feels very confident that his horse will perform well and at least be among the challengers for top place in the Belmont Stakes, a true test of the champions.
Maragh has been aboard three other Belmont Stakes horses during his career with his best finish seventh place when he rode Brave Victory in 2009.
In the horses’ last outing, about a week ago, Wicked Strong came out of the one mile run in fine shape.
“He’s in good shape,” said Jerkens. “There is nothing really to say.”
Of course, Maragh, who seems to be getting a good amount of horses to compete on during his stay in New York, is looking forward to an upset. And in any horse race, nothing is impossible. An upset could happen!