Recent history has been unkind to winners of the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Let’s review the past ten years:
2003: Funny Cide The plucky NY-bred beat heavily favored Empire Maker in the Kentucky Derby and romped in the Preakness while Empire Maker rested. Watch what happened when they met in the Belmont:[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2JfzR-dTtk]
2004: Smarty Jones “It’s been 26 years. It’s just one furlong away.” Heartbreak.
2008: Big Brown The least compelling recent Triple Crown attempt, likely due to the scandals surrounding trainer Rick Dutrow. Still, I thought he’d win. I never expected this.
2012: I’ll Have Another Quite possibly the most disappointing of them all. He scratched the day before the race due to injury and was promptly retired. We never got to see him attempt the race. It was like Wally World was closed.