Aw, Dang! The big red Redneck horse from outback SLOTown didn't make it. The fairy tale turned south as California Chrome was beat out by fresh(er) horses. One of his owners caused everyone's eyebrows to fly off their faces when he breached the usual Gentlemen"s Racing Codes of Silence & Suck-it-Up Sportsmanship and lashed out at the "spoilers," -- those owners who held their horses back, fresh horses that didn't run in the Derby or the Preakness. Called them out for taking the "cowards way,"withholding their horses from the real test just to take a run at and knock off any possible Triple Crown possibles.
You could just imagine the harumphing that would be taking place in the genteel clubhouses across the racing demimonde that evening. Bad form, old man. Bad form. But then, what can you expect from these hick upstarts from (sniff) California.
Well, hell, I'm glad the old guy got it out on the table. He's right. If the Triple Crown is supposed to be some ultimate test of horseflesh, then they should go ahead and set it up that way: Can't run your horse in one without running your horse in all of 'em. That way, they're all stressed and exhausted together. Plus, you'd be testing all of them on the shorter tracks for speed, on the longer course for endurance and on all three for stamina and strength. Then, whatever triple winner came out of the grueling slog could truly be said to be something special. The best of the best.
As it is now, it's more of a crapshoot rather than some kind of ultimate race. And remains unfair to those horses who have done the Derby and the Preakness and then have to not only go the extra distance at Belmont, but have to do so against fresh, rested mounts.
So I say, let's kick it up a notch: Change the rules and go for the Grand Slam -- Derby, Preakness, Belmont -- all in. Then hope California Chrome has some long-legged running-fool babies who come off the Harris Ranch and head east to kick some ass.
Meantime, good job, Chrome. You're one hell of a horse who took the country and your owners on a pretty wonderful ride. Thanks!