June 07, 2014

California Chrome Makes Triple Crown Bid: California Chrome could become the 12th Triple Crown champion with a win in the Belmont Stakes in New York at 6:52 p.m. Eastern Saturday evening. The last to achieve the fear was Affirmed in 1978, 36 years ago. Chrome will start one spot from the inside rail for the mile-and-a-half race -- the longest Triple Crown event. "I know it'll be tougher going a mile and a half, but this horse is a good horse. I think he's the real McCoy," said trainer Art Sherman.

posted by rcade to other at 10:28 AM - 8 comments

Just to get everyone's blood pumping, here is the greatest performance by a race horse in history (with commentary and interviews):

I could watch this every day and still get emotional at the end.

posted by grum@work at 02:21 PM on June 07, 2014

We should probably put this in a Roman historical perspective.

The last Triple Crown winner accomplished the feat four popes ago.

posted by beaverboard at 06:22 PM on June 07, 2014

I found it hilarious that NBC ran about 4 hours of hype for California Chrome, but as they neared the start of the race their own experts picked other horses (correctly, I might add) to finish ahead of him.

posted by grum@work at 07:31 PM on June 07, 2014

Too bad that California Chrome's co-owner, Steve Coburn, had to let his emotions get the better of him in his post-race comments. I believe the remarks, generally on the premise that only those horses who ran in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness should be allowed in the Belmont, were not malicious but were the result of disappointment. The analogy has been drawn of players being rested late in the regular season, or of injured players coming back, and returning for the post-season. It's not quite accurate, since horse racing is not exactly a team sport. Changing the rules to require some sort of qualification to run in the Preakness or the Belmont will actually artificially deprive some owners of a chance to run and win a high-priced stakes race.

posted by Howard_T at 12:51 PM on June 08, 2014

Each of the Triple Crown races is an event unto itself with its own prestige, purse, etc. Each ownership/training group can size up their horse and decide when and where to race, should they qualify to enter. Some owners are thrilled to have the opportunity to enter just one of them.

There may be some horses who are held out of the Preakness because they don't do well in a close quarters sprint. Trainers generally know whether or not they have a horse who can realistically compete in three races on such a grueling schedule.

If just one of the misfortunes and rolls of the dice that have happened to the Phipps family in the breeding barn or on the track ever happens to Coburn, our great grandchildren will likely spend their lifetimes enduring the retelling of his tale of woe.

Coburn, meanwhile, has a bright future ahead of him as Wilford Brimley's stunt double should he decide to step away from the sport.

posted by beaverboard at 02:28 PM on June 08, 2014

If the horses are being run so hard that they still haven't recovered two weeks later, then it seems to me that Mr. Coburn and his ilk are guilty of abusing these animals. Devaluing the Triple Crown by forcing more animals to be abused isn't really the best possible idea.

posted by Etrigan at 02:59 PM on June 08, 2014

It's not a three-game series. It's not like a NASCAR season. Nor should it be.

The NBC hype is perhaps bound up with Americans not being exposed to horse racing outside of the three races that are lumped into the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup, but the owner should know better.

here is the greatest performance by a race horse in history

Oh, it's impossible to compare horse racing across different settings and cultures, perhaps harder than any other sport. Red Rum, Desert Orchid, Arkle, Mill Reef, Nijinsky, Phar Lap: they all have their claims to glory.

posted by etagloh at 05:43 PM on June 08, 2014

Oh, it's impossible to compare horse racing across different settings and cultures, perhaps harder than any other sport.

True, but in terms of a single performance in a single race, I don't think anyone can legitimately put up anything that compares to Secretariat at Belmont. When you obliterate a track record like he did (a record no horse has come within a second of in the next 40 years), and veteran observers use the phrase "perfection", it's not hard to believe them.

posted by grum@work at 06:30 PM on June 08, 2014

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.