Water Shortage Plagues Belmont Park

Article excerpt

ELMONT, N.Y. -- What a day to be without any water.

The entire Belmont Park facility -- and some of surrounding town of Elmont -- lost water pressure in the grandstand Saturday afternoon during its busiest day of the year. There was no water at the 445-acre race track for most of the day with a crowd of more than 94,000.

Because the water fountains and rest rooms weren't functioning well in 96-degree weather, lines were long and tempers were short.

The incident brought back some memories of the 1998 Preakness, when there was a power outage in the clubhouse. There was no air conditioning on a 92-degree day, and many mutuel windows couldn't operate.

The 140th running of the Belmont Stakes turned out to be one of the hottest in the history of the race. The temperature reached 96 degrees by late afternoon, tying a high for the date in New York City set in 1925. By race time, it had cooled down to 93.

Well done

One horse that lived up to expections on Saturday was Denis of Cork, who finished a strong second.

Despite a slow pace that should have hindered his running style, Denis of Cork closed to finish in the money in another Triple Crown race this year. The son of Harlan's Holiday was third in the Kentucky Derby.

Denis of Cork, who left the gate as the second-choice following the late scratch of Casino Drive, passed three tiring horses on the stretch but couldn't catch front-running Da' Tara.

"We are very proud of our horse," trainer David Carroll said. "We didn't have any help on the front end."

As for the failed Triple Crown bid, Carroll said, "Big Brown is a good horse. But he may have attempted too much."

Prado power

Jockey Edgar Prado missed a chance to win his third Belmont Stakes -- and derail another Triple Crown hopeful - when Casino Drive scratched yesterday morning, but he made up for it. …