Since 1997 Belmont Parks track announcer, Tom Durkin, has had seven chances to call a Triple Crown winning race.
He’s making his move with five furlongs to go…
Only to have his hopes of witnessing history… dashed each time. Mr. Durkin retires this summer but he has one last chance. If California Chrome wins, he’ll be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
Before the race, a look back at Mr. Durkin’s seven close calls:
And Silver Charm’s quest for the Triple Crown…Silver Charm holding the lead! Here comes Touch Gold and Free House….Silver Charm has lost the lead and Touch Gold will deny him the Crown!
And Real Quiet’s run for a Triple Crown…Kent Desormeaux imploring Real Quiet to hold on…victory gallop a final surge. It’s going to be very close…here’s the wire….it’s too close to call!
Charismatic will try to claim a Triple Crown…Charismatic trying desperately to hold the lead but he’s lost it to Lemon Drop Kid as they come to the final furlong Charismatic not going to get it done. It’s a photo finish. It looked like Lemon Drop Kid got it very tight indeed.
And War Emblem’s quest for the Triple Crown…he did not break alertly. Sarova has come on through to take the lead and War Emblem has given way. No Triple Crown for the 24th year.
And Funny Cide off to a very sharp beginning …it’s Funny Cide still holding that lead. Funny Cide has dropped back to third, down to the final 100 yards of the Belmont…and Empire Maker has won the 135th Belmont Stakes.
Smarty Jones got off to a good beginning today…Just a minute from the wire and Smarty Jones has to hold on to that lead but Birdstone is going to make him earn it today. The whip is out on Smarty Jones. It’s been 26 years, he’s just one furlong away…Birdstone is upset threat, they’re coming down to the finish. Can Smarty Jones hold on? Here comes Birdstone. Birdstone surges past! Birdstone wins!
Kent Desormeaux is going to keep Big Brown not far behind as they move into the Club House Turn. Big Brown is plummeting as the field turns for home in the Belmont Stakes. Da’Tara has opened up a five-length lead and Big Brown has been eased at the top of the stretch. It is Da’Tara. He wins by four lengths, the triple crown will remain vacant once again.