With a Sinatra Jr. singing the horses onto the track, with shots of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan in the background, and with a monstrous crowd roaring, it was almost like the picture had been photo-shopped and Godzilla was about to climb over Belmont Park.
Then reality set in and a nation was back where it started, without a Triple Crown winner in ages.
That's a shame, too, because here is what a California Chrome victory would have meant to a nation and to an industry:
The stock market would have soared.
Trust fund kids would have started breeding horses.
Sorry owners of cheap horses would have stopped cheating.
Card players and Wall Street players would have switched to horse racing.
Now tomorrow will be much like yesterday.
Horse racing will be reclaimed by the regulars until the Breeder's Cup weekend in the fall.
Tracks will be the setting for trouble to come in movies and on TV shows.
PETA will reappear in the bushes.
Actually the nation needs a more effective public education system and more prisons and a better balanced economy and politicians who act less like politicians more than it needs a Triple Crown winner.
Adding to the letdown of a national favorite gone south was the beating sportsmanship took on Saturday. Sportsmanship was stomped into the ground by the California cowboy owner of Chrome, who called the winner's connections cowards for being fresh and probably for not even needing a nose patch for the Belmont. Calling the winners chickens because their horse is not as tired as California Chrome is a bit harsh. If being lightly raced is so obviously devious, you could have bet him.