In honor of Tony Belmont—the beloved "Old Broadway" personality who was such a familiar presence at the track that she had both a high-profile horserace and a prestigious theater award named after her—this week's challenge will be in two parts: one for the horserace and one for the show.
First, the horserace. As you might know, the stage was set for Kentucky Derby winner Mine that Bird to run against Preakness winner Rachel Alexandra in what promised to be a very close contest. But after what must have been a careful consideration of risks and benefits and ovary value, Rachel Alexandra's owners pulled her out of the race. So jockey Calvin Borel, who won the Kentucky Derby on Mine that Bird and the Preakness on Rachel Alexandra, will return to Mine that Bird for the Belmont.
Will Borel win his own kind of Triple Crown? Or will the rest of the field figure out how to keep him and Mine that Bird out of first place? That's part of the Part I challenge: Predict whether Borel will get that Triple Crown and you'll win a point. The other part of the Part I challenge? Pick the horses for first, second, and third—you will be rewarded for getting any number of them right. You can find the horses that will be running here.
As usual, anyone can play. Your choices must be posted in the comments section by 5pm EST on Saturday, June 6, 2009. Until that time you will also be able to replace any entry that's been scratched with a horse that's still in the running. Just be sure to use a distinct moniker that distinguishes you from the other jokers in the competition.