Speed Reads

Third Time's The Charm

On the eve of Belmont, a Triple Crown hopeful waits

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Saturday marks the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes, and the day of reckoning for a horse that has captured a country's imagination.

Underdog-turned-horse-to-beat California Chrome is just a race away from becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner, but ESPN's Steve Davidowitz pens a lovely warning for those ready to hop on the California Chrome bandwagon:

"Logic says CC will be tough; sentiment says many of us will root for him; but the wallet says, not so fast. The hesitation is based on one undeniable fact: Whenever a horse is going to attract huge sums of money, we should remind ourselves that racehorses are not robots."

No, they are not.

They are creatures that answer the whims of their owners, develop strong bonds with their riders, and sometimes — the rare sometime — offer a fitting projection for our own moments of glory and failure.

Below, images of a horse we can only hope enters his race a little bit robotic — to feel such overwhelming scrutiny is not a scenario one wishes on any competitor — prepping for a Saturday at Belmont.

(And read Davidowtiz's moving column in full, here.) --Sarah Eberspacher