Triple Crown Series, 2013

Jun 20th 2013 08:30 pm |

Since its never too late to write about anything here at Colin’s Ghost, I thought I would do a quick wrap-up of this year’s Triple Crown before we get busy with summer racing — my favorite time of the year!

With three different winners of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, we head into another summer without a Triple Crown winner. This is the first time since I seriously started following racing that I am beginning to think its not going to happen again. It has been over a quarter century since Affirmed and almost a decade since we have had a Belmont winner that raced in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

The trend of running in the Kentucky Derby, skipping the Preakness, and returning in the Belmont is one of the reasons why the most difficult feats in horse racing now borders on the impossible. Colin’s Ghost reader Jim Mosier echoed this sentiment commenting a few days after Palice Malice won this year’s Belmont Stakes:

Kevin, just a random idea. No idea if anyone else is thinking this way.

It has occurred to me that the prospects of a Triple Crown winner in the future are more and more remote because horses are running in the Kentucky Derby, skipping the Preakness to rest and recover, then coming back for the Belmont. As you know the Belmont is the longest of the 3. So a horse that does that has 5 weeks of rest as opposed to 3 weeks.

Any chance for a rule that if you run in the Derby you HAVE to run in the Preakness– or else you can’t run in the Belmont?

A good idea but one that would likely never fly. The New York Racing Association would never agree with this condition for many reasons but the primary one is that it would reduce the field size of the Belmont Stakes. Such a condition might boost the field for the Preakness but it would likely decimate the field for the Belmont.

I am in the camp that believes changing the series to make it easier for a sweep is a bad idea. It’s easier for me to accept that it will never happen again then altering the distances or time-frame of the three races. There is more to American horse racing then the Triple Crown, if Affirmed is the last one we ever see then so be it. Any alterations to the three races in five weeks over true classic distances (and beyond) would cheapen the accomplishment. The last thing we need is an asterisks alongside  the name of the next Triple Crown winner.

Here a couple of images I took of this year’s Triple Crown scene at Preakness and Belmont:

Orb, Kentucky Derby winner, before the Preakness Stakes, 2013

Oxbow, Preakness Stakes winner, enters the Belmont Park paddock, 2013

Palice Malice, Belmont Stakes winner, in the Belmont Park paddock, 2013

Preakness Day at Pimlico, 2013

The field loading for the Belmont Stakes, 2013

Back soon with history articles about Hollywood Park and the Dwyer Brothers….happy summer racing everyone!


Filed in thoroughbred racing history

One Response to “Triple Crown Series, 2013”

  1. William Steward says:

    A wish long yearned for! It seems to be difficult seeing the way the horses choose the races, but changing the race distance, the time between the races or any other configuration would second-rate the prestigious Triple Crown Series. Not a good idea.