There were just over 102,000 in attendance. And I think 100,000 of them came on the LIRR. And perhaps 50,000 arrived on the same train as we did. Seriously, it was THAT packed!!
Fortunately, our second race of the day was a lucky one for both of us. We didn't win much on it, but it is always fun to win regardless of the amount!
On the next race, Chris hit on the exacta!! We were super excited!! Especially when we found out it paid almost $100. Jackpot :)
Just after Race 9, we had placed our bets for the next two races and then found a spot to settle into for a couple of hours while we waited for the Belmont Stakes. We found a relatively uncrowded area near a bench where two nice couples were sitting. We waited...and waited...and waited!
|California Chrome...the exciting Triple Crown hopeful just before the race!|
I made friends with the group on the bench and was able to manage to share their coveted spot atop the bench for the BIG race! The crowd had become unbearable at this point...and quite excitable! LL Cool J even gave a brief performance before the race began.
The stakes were huge...and I really thought California Chrome was gonna win. I really did. The horses took their spots...and they were off!
Even thought I was head and shoulder above most of the crowd in the area where I was located, I couldn't really make out much of the race. I did get a couple of photos when the horses were on the back stretch, but as they came around to the finish people were just going crazy and I couldn't see a single thing. We didn't know for a few minutes after the finish which two horses were even at the lead as they crossed the finish line.
Thankfully, we did not plan to take the LIRR back to the city after the race. It was most certainly a disaster for anyone that did so. We decided next year we just want to watch the Belmont Stakes at home. Too many people with not enough space! The only reason it wasn't a total disappointment is that Chris won a decent amount on his exacta. Otherwise, we might have decided to steer clear of the Belmont forever!