The Belmont is the final race a horse must win to sweep the famed Triple Crown. (No horse has won all three races - Kentucky Derby - Preakness - Belmont - since Affirmed in 1978.)
When Street Sense, this year's KY Derby winner, lost the Preakness Stakes (May 19th) to a horse named Curlin, the Belmont lost much of its luster. There would be no Triple Crown drama on the line in the 2007.
Ho Hum. Horse racing goes largely ignored through the year - and this year's Belmont was about to be swept into the dustbin of history.
But then there was a glimmer of hope. Rags to Riches, a filly, was entered in the 1-1/2 mile classic. She would face not only the Belmont's humbling distance - but the best 3-year-old males in training.
The brute force of the Preakness winner, Curlin, was against her - as well as this heavy statistic: The last time a filly won the Belmont, Theodore Roosevelt was President... Howard Hughes was not yet born.
I won't waste my time or yours attempting to describe yesterday's race. You can Google it and find countless raves online.
If you missed the Belmont - you missed a moving display of heart and perseverance - a sporting act of rarefied significance.
Even if you don't know what end of a horse eats... you can appreciate this!