Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Down the Stretch they Come

The bewhiskered fellow above comes in the "place" position in today trifecta of heroes. Number 109 is one August Belmont, Sr. born this day 1813 in Hesse, Prussia. Born into a poor Jewish family his mother died when he was only seven, and he was shipped off to live with an uncle and aunt. His first job was for the famous banking family, the Rothschilds, but it was the glamour type of position. He was set to sweeping floors, running errands, polishing furniture while trying to complete his studies. But talent rises to the top, I suppose, and by 1837 he was assigned to be Rothschild's man in Havana. However, on the way to Havana he stopped over in New York, and since the panic of 1837 was raging, he was redirected to manage the Rothschilds interests in New York. He stared his own company in the hopes of saving the Rothschild's interests and it was an immediate, raging success. In 1844, he was named Austria's consul-general in order to help his business interests, but resigned the position in 1850 in protest of Austria's cruel treatment of Hungary. He became pretty prominent in politics as a major player in the Democratic party, but it is not for that he is my hero. He is the namesake of the race that is the third jewel in the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, ran every year in the second week of June. He was famous for throwing lavish balls, and tasteful parties. But it is for that one race, which I have wagered, and lost a considerable amount of money on over the years (and will continue to wager I am sure)that August Belmont, Sr. (December 8th-1813- November 24th-1890, at the age of 66), you are my (second) hero of the day.

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