As the nine-horse field raced into the far turn, Point Given pulled Stevens to the flank of Balto Star. McCarron glanced over and saw the blinkers, then the white and green stripes of the Saudi's silks. "I thought, Oh, my God, he's here already," said McCarron.
Moving in powerful, loping strides, T-Rex snatched the lead going into the turn, opened a two-length advantage at the quarter pole and looked like a giant rocking horse as he raced alone for the wire. Nearly 74,000 fans stood in salute, among them Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had bet Point Given across the board, and former President Clinton. "I bet Monarchos," he said. His late mother, Virginia Kelly, was a regular at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., and he often had gone to the races with her. Clinton had always wanted to attend the Belmont, he says, with its relatively small fields racing 12 furlongs around those sweeping turns. "It's the fairest test in the Triple Crown," the former president said.
It could not have been fairer on Saturday. Nor its message clearer.