Welcome to Belmont Week 2012
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Morning rush hour at Belmont Park.
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another arrived early to Belmont Park,
Photo: Rick Samuels
accompanied by millionaire pony Lava Man.
I'll Have Another galloped daily,
prepping for his attempt to join the Triple Crown immortals.
Photo: Chad Harmon
A crowd gathered whenever I'll Have Another appeared,
or his trainer Doug O'Neill,
or his jockey Mario Gutierrez.
But, they weren't the only ones attracting attention.
Dullahan was getting comfortable with the track,
or maybe he was just passing time.
The draw revealed an even dozen, with the Derby/Preakness winner in the 11 hole.
Photo: SKIP DICKSTEIN
The hard-working 'And They're Off' team takes a break.
Bob Baffert was back in the mix, this time with Paynter.
Paynter was looking right at home at Belmont Park.
The 12 Belmont horses were required to relocate to a designated barn before race day.
This was not a popular move with the connections, especially Dale Romans, trainer of Dullahan.
Five Sixteen gets a security escort to the track.
Union Rags was a late arrival to Belmont Park, having done most of his training at Fair Hill.
He got a little heated during his first tour of the Belmont track.
But, settled down the next day and was all business.
Trainer Ken McPeek brought two to the Belmont:
and Unstoppable U, who had an unusual workmate.
Guyana Star Dweej was determined to take a bite out of the Belmont.
And, Street Life was stirring up some interest.
But, the whole complexion of the race changed on Friday.
as J. Paul Reddam and Doug O'Neill announced the injury and retirement of I'll Have Another.
But, the show must go on.
Calling everyone to Belmont Park.
The crowd came out,
Photo: DAVE HARMON
and only the ducks objected to the weather.
Secretariat was wearing his carnations for the occasion.
Time for quiet study, before the action begins.
Even with no I'll Have Another in the race, everyone still wanted to capture Mario.
Belmont Stakes Day is the perfect time to make new friends.
Did someone mention popcorn?
No, I said ice cream.
Bubbles are appropriate for any occasion.
But, if bubbles aren't your thing,
surely you can find something to keep you busy.
Mike Smith and Ron Turcotte, who rode Secretariat to victory in the 1973 Triple Crown.
Photo: Dave Harmon
Wait, wait, wait. I know who is going to win, because I had this dream.
This one looks like a sure thing.
Off and running, as Teeth of the Dog takes the Easy Goer.
You want music? Belmont is the place to be.
For lovers of all kinds of music.
There is fashion at the Belmont.
But, the jockey look seemed to be all the rage.
I'll Have Another was honored with a ceremony before the Belmont Stakes.
He was led to the Winner's Circle one last time,
and trainer Doug O'Neill removed his saddle.
Jockeys' meeting before the Belmont Stakes, it's almost time now.
Ready to capture the action.
And the cheers go up for the 2012 Belmont winner.
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