Teresa Genaro is a high school English teacher and freelance turf writer whose work has appeared in a variety of turf publications. A former and erstwhile resident of Saratoga Springs, she lives in Brooklyn and writes about New York racing at Brooklyn Backstretch.
It’s been 179 days since I was last at Belmont Park. It was New York Showcase Day, a sodden Saturday, as so many of them were last year at New York tracks. Haynesfield won the Empire Classic.
Since then, we’ve been at Aqueduct. Allen Jerkens and Le Grand Cru won the first stakes race of the fall meet, way back in October; this Saturday, whoever takes the Withers will become the last stakes winner of the spring meet, and six months at the Big A will come to an end.
Though I will miss jumping on the subway three blocks from my apartment and emerging at Aqueduct a half an hour later, it’s time: Time to return to Belmont, time to put winter racing behind us, time to welcome back from the warm and sunny South the jockeys and trainers who left last fall, time to re-energize our racing selves with the massive expanse of Belmont’s verdure.
And time, too, for this space to re-emerge from its off-season cocoon. The Kentucky Derby is ten days away, the Belmont Stakes another 35 after that. I hear people talking about Eskendereya being good enough to do it, to capture the Crown last worn by Affirmed 32 years ago. Really, we should scarcely dare hope.
In nine days, it’s back to Belmont, and in 45, back to the Belmont Stakes. I am happy to be along for the ride again this year, to share stories of horses and humans and history. See you at Belmont…