I’m no major racing enthusiast by any means, but I couldn’t help but be cautiously optimistic for a Triple Crown winner this past weekend. Everybody loves the underdog, and it is hard not to like the story and the people behind California Chrome.
That is until I heard the owner calling the other horses “cowards” and “cheats.” No doubt you’re aware by now, but in case you’re not familiar with Steve Coburn’s remarks, here’s an article explaining his reaction.
I get it, it would be extremely disappointing. Hell I was disappointed watching the race, but by the second turn I felt like I wasn’t going to watch history happen… again.
Still, I’m glad everyone ran safely. Every time I saw pictures of California Chrome I kept thinking back to Charismatic in the 1999 Belmont, and pictured his jockey leaping off after the race and holding Charismatic’s fractured front let. Now that is heartbreaking. Stepping on a heel bulb and being a bit tired… well that’s racing.
Now I’m back to the belief that I won’t see a Triple Crown winner in my lifetime. We may never have one again. The horses are so evenly matched these days. Most owners have money to play and everyone tends to breed for speed. It’s not like the derby is full of one shining star competing against hags.
Talk of changing the rules is interesting to me. Many suggest lengthening the time between the races, and Coburn rather fervently stated his opinions that horses should have to run in all three races to compete in any of them at all. To me that’s a bit of an extreme and unfair requirement.
Honestly, I hope they don’t change it. I like history and tradition and to me that’s a huge part of what horse racing is about. I wouldn’t be surprised if the powers that be decided to start the process of changing up the rules. Every year we go without a Triple Crown winner (or contender even) is bad for racing in general.
So what do you think, change the rules or keep tradition in regards to the Triple Crown?