If I'll Have Another wins the 2012 Belmont Stakes and secures the Triple Crown, I don't think horse racing will have any trouble staving off its sporting competitors for Saturday's biggest event, but the Associated Press does a nice job of summarizing the sports madness that will be going on across New York on June 9. In addition to Elmont's pride and joy—and possibly the first Triple Crown win since Affirmed—there'll be the Mets and Yankees, a world-class track meet, a Stanley Cup game, and Brazil against Argentina in an exhibition soccer match.
Four sports Americans are often indifferent about—horse racing, hockey, soccer, and track and field—bringing their most impressive, casual-crowd-friendly sides to bear against the national pastime's subway series, with the Belmont Stakes having the added bonus of a late Triple Crown push. If nothing else, I think some sociologist PhD students could do some fascinating things with the final data for attendance, viewership, et cetera.
As for me, as someone who lives nowhere near New York I will have the benefit of taking in all of these events at once, through television and the internet. Not quite the same ambience, but at least I don't have to make the touch decision the AP forced on its panelists.
More 2012 Belmont Stakes coverage, handpicked by the editors at SB Nation St. Louis:
- I'll Have Another jockey Mario Gutierrez is getting mixed press going into the Belmont, but he's not worried.
- He shouldn't be, because bettors and jockeys alike have found the Belmont Stakes historically difficult to handicap.
- Maybe Union Rags, for a while a forgotten horse, will be able to take advantage of that confusion.