There will be no Triple Crown this year and now the quest is for a triple of another sort, the reunion of Street Sense, Curlin and Hard Spun, the trifecta finishers in the first two jewels, having at each other once again in the Belmont Stakes.

That would be truly unique. Never before have the trifecta finishers in the first two legs returned for a third time. Actually, the Derby trifecta repeating in the Preakness happened exactly once in 132 years, 10 years ago when Silver Charm, Free House and Captain Bodgit made a cold trifecta in Baltimore, with only the second and third finishers switching Derby positions.

The door was left a bit ajar yesterday when body-language handicappers observed a weakening in Carl Nafzgers anti-Belmont posture. Street Senses trainer said he would talk it over with owner Jim Tafel and make a decision by the end of this week. Handicapping the situation myself, my pick is it wont happen.

Nafzger might have been feeling a bit guilty about his whats the point answer when asked about a Belmont rematch with Curlin, and so he probably tempered his earlier remark. But, more than anything, trainers are creatures of habit. He won a Travers with Unshaded and hed like nothing more than another Midsummer Derby win to add to his Kentucky Derby victory.

And then theres owner Jim Tafels Chicago connections to consider and the possibility that Arlington Park, an old Nafzger stomping grounds, would sweeten the pot of the American Derby and move the turf event to Polytrack to serve as a Travers prep according to HRIs Vic Zast, who has Second City ties of his own. As does the colt.

Street Sense broke his maiden as an Arlington Park juvenile and theres another variable, too. According to Calvin Borel, Street Sense gets distracted at new tracks where the fans are positioned close to the action.

Arlington Park is not as confining as Keeneland and Pimlico and is familiar territory, unlike the other two were. The money would be significant, the competition not as salty, and he wouldnt have to race four times within eight weeks.

A freshening would make sense on many levels. And lets not forget that Nafzger also won the Breeders Cup Classic with Derby-winning Unbridled, another habit Nafzger would like to get used to. Of course, that would put him and the rest of this deep and talented three-year-old class on a collision course with the great, older Invasor. Now that would be discouraging.