It was ghostly and weird watching the 2020 Belmont Stakes with empty, silent grandstands. I hope this isn't the new normal.

And speaking of strange, this race broke from history as the first time the Triple Crown series of races has ever started at Belmont Park since 1882. My pick, Tap It to Win, was doing great before running out of oats and out of the money. Tiz the Law came on strong at the end to blow dust past the rest of the 10-horse field, by a commanding four lengths, to claim the first jewel of the Triple Crown and a million bucks to share with all the team, trainers and jockey Manny Franco. Dr. Post placed second and Max Player showed third.

While most of the hype focused on the Belmont Stakes, horse racing fans experienced a full day of action with several other races leading up to it. This is where it gets interesting. A different horse was burning up conversations on social media. American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978, parented a daughter named Sweet Melania. The name was stirring a lot of crazy conversation as she was trending Saturday afternoon.

Was this horse named after First Lady Melania Trump? The put-downs started.

Seeing a beautiful horse being named Sweet Melania is an insult, not only to that poor horse but to all animals.

This is animal cruelty.

Who in their right mind would name a horse Sweet Melania?

Yes, the owner named her after our First Lady.

Sweet Melania went on to win the Wonder Again Stakes to begin her three-year-old campaign. Some said they liked the horse but hated seeing the name atop the leaderboard. How childish, stupid and idiotic.

Congratulations to Sweet Melania and her namesake, our dashing, award-winning and beautiful First Lady, Melania Trump.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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