Having little success at handicapping the Derby Under Card and faced with an eighty minute wait for the big one, I turned to the 10th at Belmont desperately seeking some value. A MSW on the inner turf going 6 panels, my favorite handicapper had landed on Solar Panel at 16/1 and I tended to agree with him. Trainer Thomas Bush was giving Mike Luzzi a leg up in this wide open affair. This was added value because I know from experience that the Luzzi is capable of bringing home a winner in a NYRA nightcap. The race unfolded like this: Solar Panel led from the gate and battled Linda Rice trainee Hear the Footsteps throughout. In the shadow of the wire hard charging Mighty Tuff with Victor Santiago urging nailed Solar Panel (that’s him with his tongue hanging out) on the line.
Well we had a run for our money from Solar Panel. Some of my greatest pleasures at the race track come from watching a losing horse (at high odds) run a close race. Solar Panel and Mike Luzzi were giving it their all and I didn’t mind losing a few bucks on the win. The healthy show price came back $9.80 which more than made up for the wager in the first place.