Recent Triple Crown History at Belmont

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:


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.

Preakness Recap: How Champions Look

Greatness comes from everywhere.  Even from a $2,500 Stud Fee and a $8,000 mare.  California Chrome looked all the part of a champion today.  Social Inclusion ran well — right up to him on the turn — and California Chrome had more.  When Ride on Curlin made a solid run at his down the final furlong, I yelled at the TV “DIG DEEP!” as to implore the big fella to fight on for another hundred yards.  He obliged, quite willingly.

Ride on Curlin ran well out of the Derby, and Social Inclusion was solid off both the injury and the foot bruise.  Not sure that anyone else really impressed at all in this group.  There will be plenty of return shooters from the Kentucky Derby in three weeks at Belmont, plus some notable new shooters, like Tonalist and Commisioner, who both come ran in the Peter Pan Stakes.

It will be an exciting three weeks, with coverage of the sport at its likely highest level since Smarty Jones’ Belmont try in 2004.  We’ll be back with the race of the day on Monday at around 6:00 ET with the 4th race from Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver.