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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Belmont Stakes Edition

Today is Belmont Day, and another Triple Crown winner may lift our spirits after the the loss of Kentucky legend C.M. Newton.

150th Belmont Stakes Previews - Justify Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. I’ll be you’re host for the Quickies this fine Belmont Saturday.

Speaking of the Belmont Stakes, that contest is today, as you no doubt know, and Justify is seeking to become the second horse in four years to win the Triple Crown, a feat that was accomplished by American Pharoah for the first time in 37 years back in 2015.

As usual, John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader does a great job covering the race. Justify drew the rail for this race, and it isn’t a popular spot from which to win, but Bob Baffert had the ultimate quote about that:

“If he’s great,” said Baffert, “he’ll do it.”

That’s all you can say. I have watched many hopefuls reach this point, and until recently, haven’t seen a successful go since I was in college. I hope he wins it, but I am not sanguine.

Also, you should watch this every Belmont Day. I had no idea when I watched it at the time on an ancient tube-driven color TV of the magnitude, the historical significance of this event. I was only 16 at the time, and such moments are often lost on the young. But I remember it as clearly as if I just watched it yesterday, so I guess it made more of an impression than I thought.

Other odds and ends

Just a few quick remarks about recent events:

  • Anthony Bourdain’s passing is a great sadness. My wife loved his show, and even though we only discovered him during his “No Reservations” days, we both enjoyed his wit and style. He will be missed, and the manner of his passing is most unsettling.
  • I’m really going to miss C.M. Newton. Petra and I got to meet him at a charity event back in the middle of the last decade, and he was a very nice man indeed. There is also the minor fact that he is a Kentucky legend, having played baseball and basketball at UK and presided as Athletics Director over the resurrection of Kentucky basketball to its former glory from a very dark place. Godspeed, C.M. We will all miss you.

Related: C.M. Newton was a consummate professional throughout his college basketball career.

  • The Golden State Warriors were truly impressive last night, and it’s hard to figure out who in the East really has any chance at all to beat them without significant injury. Some might say Boston, but I’m skeptical — they are just too young right now. Cleveland is so clearly inferior it isn’t funny, and I don’t know how they keep LeBron James after last night’s debacle.
  • The NBA Draft is coming real soon. I still wonder if there is a promise for Jarred Vanderbilt from some team or other, as Jason speculated the other day.

Tweets of the Morning

The timeless classic line that rarely fails to capture a season’s end.

Probably both.

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