The GIsland, NY, June 4--Sheikh Mohammed, I have a favor to ask. Would it possible for you buy my web-site, or at least take a small equity position?

I realize we dont have much of a track record yet, but were a comer. And I know how fond you are of finding potential, then buying it, at any cost. No worries. Were still in the business of selling in America, and no man, no matter how flush, should ever turn down what the street calls--no, not that street, but what any street in New York City calls "stupid money." Copious dollars, in polite company.

If I had access to--and Im not being greedy here--a little "silly money," then I wouldnt have had to drive south from Saratoga for almost four hours on a wet, windy and winding Taconic to cover Saturdays Belmont Stakes--the one with Digger, not Derby Winner. You do remember the Belmont, yes?

That was the American classic you skipped last year with the Near-Great-But-Well-Never-Know Bernardini because your brain trust figured his loins were worth more than his legs.

Hi ho, Hi ho, its off to stud we go

But if I had some silly money, I could kick back and watch the Belmont from the box seats. I wouldnt have to wonder if your purchase of Street Sense had anything to do with the decision of Mr. Tafel and Mr. Nafzger not to run in this mile and a half race, the way Bernardini didnt run in his mile and a half race.

It could have been a coincidence. Probably was. Although I tend to look on the bright side, my downfall.

But when did you find the time to buy Hard Spun? Wow! Who knew anybody could buy a Derby Exacta? And you own his daddy, too? Must be nice to be able to afford two of everything. (Promise Ill be extremely reasonable during the negotiations, even maybe throw in the webmaster. He works for a prince now, but probably would like to work for a sheikh).

Sorry about the bit of bad luck you had. The Curlin deal was put together in February and apparently you had some friends over for the Super Bowl that weekend and missed out. The Derby Trifecta. Bet no ones done that deal yet. Nobody said this game was easy, right?

Thing is I dont resent anyone for selling his property to the highest bidder for beaucoup bucks. Money can do wondrous good things for people.

I can remember a time when racing thoroughbred horses used to be a privileged way to make a living. Legend says it all started when one man said to another "my horse is faster than yours," and asked him if he wanted to bet on it?

Sorry, I forgot. Betting is not allowed in Dubai. Only on cell phones.

I find it amazing when a great horserace can distract people from the world's troubles, if only for a few minutes. Guess thats why I drove south, to be distracted for a few minutes by an athletic contest among some of this countrys best stock, two of which you now own. Pity we wont see one of them on Saturday. Hes such a terrific racehorse!

But the other reason I made the drive instead of watching on television was to cover the event for HorseRaceInsider, which I might let go dirt cheap by your standards.

The other day one of our readers posted a comment that people like myself and like thinking fans are the real anachronisms, and not the distance of the Belmont Stakes.

So please, just consider my proposition. Its not as much fun anymore. A lot of the drama is missing from the opera now. I think I'd like to live modestly on my pension in Saratoga, but I could use a little help.

No disrespect, but its not like you cant afford it. There is the $17 million you saved when Mrs. Elizabeth Valando turned down your offer because she made a wish on a potential star to win a Kentucky Derby for her late husband. But Nobiz Like Shobiz couldnt get the job done and now some people on the backstretch are saying Mrs. Valando made a bad no-deal.

Ill be thinking about her on the drive home and wonder how she celebrated Belmont day. Then, reluctantly, Ill accept that I just have to keep punching away at these keys. Its OK. Its a privilege to write about people like Mrs. Valando, people who really get it about racing. And I probably dont need the money as bad as I think I do.