Sam Grossman will play Yankees anthem "New York, New York" Saturday during the post parade for the 142nd Belmont Stakes. If he had his choice, Sammy the Bugler would be doing an old school tune instead. "My personal favorite is 'Sidewalks of New York,' " he said, referring to the Belmont's longtime theme until 1997. "I much prefer it."
Grossman played a Manhattan doubleheader yesterday, hitting high notes in the morning on the Empire State Building's 102nd floor before playing "Call to the Post" for a Belmont news conference at the Garden. Besides the two Belmont songs, people and pigeons heard "Empire State of Mind" and "Fugue for Tinhorns." Grossman also serenaded trainer Alexis Barba with "Luck Be a Lady."
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Said Barba: "What a treat. It was fun to see the view. I'd been up before, but it was at night, and that's a lot different.'"
If Make Music for Me pulls an upset, Barba would be over the moon emotionally. No woman ever has trained a Belmont winner.
Memories of Slew
Billy Turner was 37 in 1977 when he trained the immortal Seattle Slew, the only horse to win the Triple Crown while undefeated. "He had phenomenal ability," Turner said. "He had speed and could carry it long, and that's a great combination.'"
He was asked why he thought there has been no sweep since Affirmed in 1978. "You have to have a horse that's bred for stamina," he said. "But if you have stamina, sometimes you don't have speed. To get the two together is rather unique."