What a day. WHAT A DAY! Heading to the track to witness history in person was the biggest no brainer of my entire life. There was literally no reason not to go. As a plagued sports fan, I’ve had very little joy in my life watching sports (essentially none). There have been few ups and many many downs. Seeing American Pharaoh take home the triple crown was especially awesome because all 90,000 people in attendance (minus a few assholes) were rooting for the same thing. About an hour before the race, you could sense an very strange aura spreading throughout the entire place. I just knew Pharaoh was going to finish what he started, you could feel it in the air. Despite the $10 beers and spending/losing a ton of money on the day, it was so so worth it. You can’t put a price on an experience like this. History is unquantifiable.
Here are a few takeaways from the day:
I don’t understand racetracks. I do not understand the layout of the track or the logistics of the entire property. You can’t see the stables so the horses just come out of nowhere. I don’t know how people can get on the infield without walking on the track. Maybe it’s not a big deal if people walk on it, but it just seems weird to me.
General Admission is a rookie’s move. Paying $20 to witness what we all saw yesterday was without a doubt a steal. But the move is to buy a legitimate ticket that gets you a physical seat. Standing room only is great because you can walk around and have access to almost everything, except a place to sit for the races. More importantly, a real ticket guarantees you the ability to physically SEE the race. We stood above the lower level of seats for the big race, but there were so many other suckers doing that it became very hard to move let alone see the track. GA has “poor person” and/or “not important person” written all over it. Having a clear sightline for all the races is easily worth putting up $100+.
It’s not unnatural to see females in the men’s room. This really confused me. If it were a situation where the line for the women’s bathroom was crazy long and there was NO line for the men’s room, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some of the girls make the move into the men’s bathroom. I’ve seen it before, and it sort of makes sense. But the crowd was predominantly men, so the line to use the bathroom was out the door and halfway down the concourse. It was still faster than waiting on the line to use the women’s bathroom, obviously, but I did not expect to see three girls exiting the bathroom as I was coming in. No clue if they used the stall or not, you’ll have to figure that one out on your own.
Be dapper and debonair. When in Rome. I was pretty decked out yesterday, pink pants, white shoes, bow tie, etc. And I’ve never felt like such a ridiculous asshole but so right at the same time. Guys in hats, bow ties, suspenders, seersucker suits. Girls in sundresses, big hats, heels, boots. The only way to stick out like a sore thumb at the Belmont is to NOT dress up. A great excuse to put on your best summer clothes that are otherwise questionable outfit choices, so don’t blow it. At least try to look rich and important even if it’s not true. All the people in street clothes might as well be bums on the street.
Prepare to bet on every single race. It’s literally impossible not to bet on every single race. It’s way too exciting to not have any sort of investment all the time. It’s not even about winning (easy to say now that I lost every bet). When you hear that famous horn jingle, you KNOW it’s about to go down. You know you’re gonna watch the race, so why not have a horse in the race (literally)? That was not my mentality before I arrived, but it’s best to know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand. Also, if your horse doesn’t win, you should still go crazy after the race as if you won big. Everyone around you will be jealous/impressed. And if you lose, keep your head up. Don’t be like this girl who clearly lost a ton of money and dignity and most likely did a poor job pacing herself throughout the long day. Mix in a water, babe!
If a horse is going for the triple crown, bet $2 on them to keep the ticket. This was my biggest regret of the day. I did bet on Pharaoh, but you can’t keep your ticket if you cash it in. The smart play was to put $2 on American Pharaoh, so I can keep the ticket as a memento. No point of cashing in that ticket (would have paid like 63 cents), so you can take it home and have it as a keepsake forever and ever. I could have kept my ticket, but my winnings were more important at the time (amount not important as I want to maintain some level of modesty). 95% of $2 tickets on Pharaoh have not been cashed in because those people are more intelligent than I.
How about this Bob Baffert guy? Cocky and smug as can be. Just won the Triple Crown and is as cool as a cucumber. I was just a fan and I almost kissed every person around me.