From 'Oh yeah' to 'Oh no'

June, 5, 2010
ELMONT, N.Y. -- Here's what the official chart says about my Belmont: "Spangled Star saved ground, angled out, and gave way on the turn." That pretty much sums up what I have to tell you, but I'll give a little extra insight.

The race started out OK. For three quarters of a mile or so, we were traveling well. I thought at the half pole that he was going to be OK, because no matter what your odds are when you get onto a horse, and no matter what his performances were in the past, when you start traveling everything ends up being a little different. Sure, I knew I was on a long shot, but he felt good.

We were seventh at the start and right after the half all of the sudden he wanted to jump up in the bridle and start to do a little running. And I started to go with him but just as quickly he had nothing left. It was like I went from "Oh yeah!" to "Oh no." It was like he couldn't keep up and I was in deep water.

The bottom line is, when you have horsepower, you can hopefully find somewhere to go. When you don't have horsepower, it doesn't matter what part of the racetrack you run over.

As far as the winner is concerned, you have to be pleased for those connections. All the guys at WinStar are class acts and those owners have done a lot of good for the industry. Bill Mott is in the Hall of Fame, of course, and he's a very capable horseman. And Mike Smith is my hometown boy; I've known Mikey a long time and he's always been a class act, he always carries himself well. He's a good ambassador for the sport; he's been around a long time and I'm happy for him.

Even though I didn't win the Belmont, I was fortunate enough to win a nice Grade 2 race today, the True North, which is a six-furlong event. I rode Bribon for the first time; he's a French horse who actually has a lot of nice performances on his record, including a Met Mile win last year. Todd Pletcher thought I would fit his style really well and he told me to just go ahead and take my time with him, warm him up good and have him ready to go. I got him back behind a couple of horses, he traveled on real well; I eased him out at the quarter pole and sent him on. He did it very handily and he's a nice horse and I'm sure you'll see more of him this summer.

That should do it, so I'll let you get on with reading the other coverage of today's events. I'm driving back to Monmouth this evening, actually, to ride the Sunday card. In case you were wondering, according to that nickname generator the girls from TVG were using a few weeks back on the Lady Luck show, my Jersey Shore nickname is "G-Muscle." I guess there could be worse nicknames for a jockey!



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