Before a major stakes race like the Belmont Stakes trainers and jockeys have no shortage of details to worry about and prepare for. Today, at least, the weather won’t be one of these factors as it looks like a good afternoon for racing with fast track conditions.
While some horses like running in rain and sloppy conditions they are the exception rather than the rule. Furthermore, it’s much more difficult to handicap races in adverse conditions when some connections scratch their horses at the last minute than risk injury. The fact that so many horses in the field aren’t racing ‘to form’ is also a serious thorn in the side for handicappers. For that reason, everyone watching and betting on the 2012 Belmont Stakes is relieved that the weather should be very conducive to a safe, competitive and formful race.
Temperatures are going to be average for this time of year, in the high 70′s or low 80′s with the relative humidity in the mid 50% range. It’ll be comfortable for the fans to watch the race and shouldn’t cause any type of excessive fatigue on the part of the horses. There may be a significant cloud cover at post time, but there isn’t much of a risk of rain. Although some isolated thunderstorms are predicted for the Elmont, NY area later tonight the chance of precipitation before and during the race is less than 20%. There will be a light wind in the 8 to 10 MPH range. In other words, there’s not much to suggest that the weather will be a factor at all in the outcome of the Belmont Stakes.
This hasn’t always been the case in major horse racing events–perhaps the best recent example is the 2010 Kentucky Derby which was run on a very sloppy, muddy track after several days of torrential rains and soaking thunderstorms. The race day itself was more of the same, and the beneficiary was jockey Calvin Borel–known as one of the best at Churchill Downs–who guided Super Saver through the slop to win ‘The Run For The Roses’. Super Saver hadn’t been known as a good ‘mudder’ but he took care of business here.