Hall of Fame Rider Will Seize the Moment This Time Around
Big Brown is a 2-5 favorite right now to win the 140th Belmont Stakes on Saturday afternoon, but those odds mean nothing to Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux.
You see, this is Desormeaux's second opportunity at Triple Crown glory and he is not about to relent. Not with THIS horse and not in THIS race.
Desormeaux was aboard Bob Baffert's Real Quiet when he won the first two legs of the Crown in 1998 only to beaten by Victory Gallop at the Belmont. That was a heartbreaking moment for Desormeaux, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make history had slipped through his fingers.
He wondered if he would ever get the chance again.
Then, in 2007 he met Big Brown, the horse that can run forever. Big Brown is no Real Quiet, in fact he's anything but. Desormeaux and his running mate outclassed the field in the Derby and the Preakness without breaking sweat.
Casino Drive has been shipped in just for this race, to try to play spoiler. Denis of Cork also is back for another crack at Big Brown. Casino Drive has Edgar Prado up. Prado, the jockey who rode Barbaro, has won this race twice in the last six years. In 2004, aboard Nick Zito's Birdstone Prado put the brakes on the Smarty Jones bandwangon. In 2002, he rode Sarava to victory - the longest shot ever to win at Belmont.
No question Prado is dangerous, but he is up against destiny.
As great as Desormeaux is, he has never won the Belmont Stakes. He's won everywhere else - some races even multiple times. He is long overdue.
Good things come to those who wait, and a good thing has come to Kent Desormeaux.
A lesser man might squander this opportunity, but I have a feeling he won't.
He's got the horse can that run forever.