Carina Tagupa of Ewa Beach was only slightly disappointed that she and her mother, Lottie, of Kamuela, lost out on their chance to be eye witnesses to horse-racing history when I’ll Have Another was pulled out of the Belmont Stakes. I’ll Have Another had a shot at the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but didn’t race Saturday as a medical precaution.
“I commend the trainers and owners. It could’ve been catastrophic,” Carina said, in a phone interview from New York where the Belmont Stakes was a highlight of their vacation. “And even without that aspect it was still an amazing and unique experience for us, being from Hawaii, where there is no horse racing.”
Carina said she’d been to the track at Del Mar in California for some races, but Belmont Park was a completely different environment. She said it was just a bonus that Lottie placed a winning wager on Union Rags, which edged Paynter by a neck. “It’s like a Super Bowl or World Series game, 85,000 people.”
They had seats near the start of the home stretch. “When they hit that final gear, the roar is incredible, like Ferraris,” she said.
Wondering what Lenn Sakata is up to these days? Brian Vanderbeek of the Modesto Bee fills us in.
Brian also tells me that the Modesto area quarterback Hawaii has offered, Aaron Zwahlen, is “a quality kid.”
I say Miami beats Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals in six games — assuming Chris Bosh remains healthy. What say you?