As they headed down the stretch, jockey Chris McCarron pulled up Cavonnier (who suffered a bowed tendon and was retired). By then, though, everybody was watching Skip Away and Editor's Note duel for the lead, five lengths ahead of the pack. At one point the habitually belligerent Editor's Note seemed more interested in taking a bite out of Skip Away than he did in winning.
"[Editor's Note] came close to the other horse, and he wanted to hang a little bit," Douglas said.
"He wasn't hanging, Rene," Lukas said. "He wanted to go over and take a little piece out of Skip Away. I said before the race that if it's a street fight, a brawl, he's the one to beat."
There was no brawl, and no biting, but Editor's Note did finally justify Lukas's confidence in him, though his time for the mile and a half was an unexceptional 2:28.96, including a final quarter in a plodding :26.8. Skip Away held on to second and My Flag was third.
As dusk descended on Belmont Park, everyone in the winning camp was happy, but for different reasons. Young, who also owns Grindstone, had surprisingly won two thirds of the Triple Crown. Douglas had his first victory in a Triple Crown race. Lukas had another Belmont win and—who knows?—perhaps the beginning of a new Triple Crown win streak. "We've got a beautiful set of 2-year-olds," Lukas said. "We're optimistic we can get something going again."
Hear that, Woody? Tick, tick, tick. That may be a watch with Wayne Lukas's name on it.