To me Horse Racing is like Boxing, and Soccer, I’m not really “dialed” in until it’s special, a MEGA FIGHT or the WORLD CUP tournament, but, every year there is a chance for a horse to win the Triple Crown and it all starts the first weekend of May and runs through the first weekend of June..
American Pharoah has punched it’s ticket twice, the 3 year old Bay Colt could become the 1st horse to win the Triple Crown in 30 plus years, and the 12th overall on June 6th in Elmont, New York.
Saturday American Pharoah won at a sloppy rain saturated track in Baltimore, you may have heard of it… the Pimlico Race Course, where the “Run for the Black Eyed Susans” also known as the Preakness Stakes has been held now for 140 years. It’s the second leg of the holy grail of American Horse racing; the Triple Crown (a phrase first “coined” in 1930). Yesterday’s race was a true testament to what American Pharaoh is capable of, not only did the colt have to start on the rail, it also (along with the other 7) had to carry an additional 9 pounds of water with them due to the torrential rain that hit the track minutes before the race. It was the first time the Preakness was run in the “slop” since 1983.
American Pharoah was impressive, winning by 7 lengths… but, is there going to be enough in the tanks to win the Belmont, the “Test of Champions” and do what only 11 others have in the past? Trainer Bob Baffert who is no stranger to this situation had three other times the winner of the first two legs come up short in the Belmont, 1997 Silver Charm, 1998 Real Quiet, and 2002 War Emblem.
There are a couple reason why the Belmont is so tough on 3 year-olds, year in and year out. The distance, none of these horses have professionally run the 1.5 mile distance (12 furlong) that the final leg offers. The Derby is 1.25 miles (10 furlong), and the Preakness is 1 & 3/16th miles (9.5 furlong). Think of it like human sprinters, Micheal Johnson is the ONLY male athlete to win BOTH the 200 and 400 meters in the SAME OLYMPICS (1996).
Fatigue is the other factor, not all the horses that ran in the Derby run in all three races, and will be coming into the Belmont EXTREMELY fresh… watch out for Frosted and Materiality who finished 4th and 6th respectively.
So will American Pharoah win the triple crown? I don’t have a crystal ball, but I hope he does… but also wouldn’t it be ironic if Baffert’s other horse in the race Dortmund (who was sired by Big Brown 2008 Derby & Preakness winner) won?
We’ll have to wait a few weeks, but, it should be fun.