Way to go, American Pharaoh!
This weekend, Phil and I joined America's Best Racing in their VIP Tent (c/o) to watch the 147th Belmont Stakes. It's the third round of the Triple Crown following the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Each year, the fastest contenders in the US compete to steal the elusive title of "Winner of the Triple Crown;" a title that had only been won by 11 horses throughout history. 11 horses, that is, until yesterday!
Victor Espinoza put an end to the dry spell, riding American Pharaoh into victory as the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The 3 year old colt took off like a bullet and maintained his lead throughout the 2 minute, 26.65 second race. He was the sixth-fastest in Belmont history and second-fastest for a Triple Crown winner since Secretariat set the track record of 2:24 in 1973.
And what an opportunity to witness racing history first-hand! Right out of the gate, the crowd was electric and infectious with energy. We clapped, we screamed, we stomped our feet, and as Pharaoh approached the finish line with a 5 ½ stride lead, there was a collective explosion of sheer bliss. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Big Hats & Fancy Fashion
Aside from the horses, fashion is arguably the most prominent aspect at the races. Hats are a necessity, and there are plenty of options to suit your style. I saw everything from fedoras to floppy hats to fascinators, and everything in between. Men and women were dressed to the nines in preppy attire, and while dresses and bow-toes aren't enforced, they were definitely the norm.
As it was my first time at the Belmont Stakes, I decided to keep it classic and comfortable. I wore a teal Diane Von Furstenburg wrap dress (similar here,) nude Jeffrey Campbell Wedges (available here,) and my trusted Michael Kors Bedford bag (available here.) When it comes to hats, I'm somewhat of a virgin. I played it safe and purchased a striped Calvin Klein sunhat (available here.) I'm hoping it's something I will wear again and can incorporate into my every-day wardrobe.
Much to my appreciation, men at the Belmont racetrack took fashion just as seriously as the women. Seersucker suits, suspenders, fedoras, and bowties were all the rage. Preppy is the name of the game, and the gentlemen did not disappoint.
Ladies fashion varied at the Belmont Stakes. I saw everything from hippie-dippy sundresses paired with gladiator sandals, wraps, and fedoras to full-bodied tea-length skirts and crop tops. I spotted tight Herve Leger (something I would deem more appropriate for a night club) and rompers so short that the wind caused an unprecedented amount of wardrobe malfunctions (yikes!)
When it came to headwear, some women took major fashion risks and made a statement, while others (like myself) kept it low-key. I even spotted an adorable Mother/Daughter duo in matching toppers.
America's Best Racing hooked us up with food and drink, and I couldn't be more appreciative! We sipped on mixed drinks and beer, snacked on passed hors d'oeuvres, and were even presented with individual lunch boxes! Still, the food trucks were calling my name, and everyone was walking around with Korean Barbecue Tacos and tempting us with a sweet and tangy smell. How could we resist?