Thursday, May 23, 2013
Triple Crown? Who Needs It?!
Kill the Triple Crown. Off with its head. We don’t need it, yet for some reason we cling to this notion, this pie(orb?)-in-the-sky will somehow “save” horse racing.
Here’s what will happen after a horse wins the Triple Crown:
1. He’ll be on the cover of Sports Illustrated (Yippee! Now you’ve got a two bowed tendons!)
2. By Father’s Day, nobody will care.
I’d love to see it, but I think it’s high time to change the narrative. Horse racing isn’t dying, nor will it be revived or rejuvenated by a Triple Crown winner. Horse racing exists in its own ORBit, like the moon (orb?), on the outside of the sport landscape, tugged along by gravity, with waxing and waning phases. Yet, there it is.
I never—and I mean never—thought we’d see a Triple Crown winner in baseball, yet Miguel Cabrera did it in 2012. Has that sparked a greater interest in baseball? No, in fact, he wasn’t even a lock to win the MVP! That’s like a Triple Crown winner in horse racing having a hard time getting the Horse of the Year votes.
Now that Adam Scott won the Masters and the U.S. Open a month away, is the golfing world hinging its hopes on Scott winning all four? A Tiger Slam (four in a row, though not in a calendar year)? Of course not.
A Triple Crown would be nice to see and exciting to witness, but it’s not as if it will have great cultural resonance. If we really boil it down and look at its core, who are we kidding when we say we really care about a Triple Crown winner?
What we want is the tease. The Triple Crown is just the unattainable hottie at the bar who squeezed you for four $13 sour apple martinis, kissed you on the cheek, maybe touched your shoulder, then told you she had a boyfriend before cuddling in bed with her martini buzz and her former college roommate.
Yet, there you are in the bar again mackin’ it again to Triple Crown when Parx will take you home and won’t care if you call it back. It ain’t a beauty, but, hey, it’s all right.
D. Wayne told Paulick Report, “Well, it’s getting tougher, because we’re getting larger fields and the preparations leading up to these classics are so much tougher now. Back in the ’50s, when it was eight, nine head in the Derby and so forth, it wasn’t so hard to maybe come in.
"In all fairness to the horses that were in the Derby, they came up in a hard 20 horse field in the off going, and then to come back here in two weeks, that makes it tougher. If they can run in six- or eight head fields or 10 horse fields in the Derby and then roll in here, it’s going to make it easier. So it’s going to be tougher all the time.
The Triple Crown was handed to Orb, all he had to do was, you know, win.
Dale Romans said, ““I think Orb is going to win the Preakness, and I think he’ll win the Triple Crown. I’ve never said that about another horse.”
The chances for redemption in horse racing don’t come enough for the horse. Two and half weeks ago Orb was a monster, the best horse since Affirmed. Now, thanks to race tactics and an unfavorable pace scenario, he’s a mule. Will he run at his homecoming in the Belmont or wait until the Jim Dandy?
Now, it’s onto the Belmont Stakes. The luckiest horse already won the Derby. The fastest horse already won the Preakness. Who will be the best?
You see? The narrative is built right into that old adage about the Triple Crown series. We live in individualized, isolated, social networking times with attention spans requiring Adderol to answer the simple question, “How are you?”
The Derby story is done.
The Preakenss story is done.
It’s onto the Belmont.
Triple Crown? Who needs it?