Horse Racing: Can California Chrome Do it?

 Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

1978. The year Joe B. Hall and Jack “Goose” Givens led the University of Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA Championship over the Duke Blue Devils. It’s also the last time that horse racing had a Triple Crown winner.  Affirmed was the last race horse to win The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes all in the same year.  11 horses have won the first two legs, but have failed to close the deal in the Empire state, with Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and Smarty Jones (2004) all finishing second at the Belmont.

Just like the Triple Crown in Major League Baseball, the horse racing Triple Crown signifies excellence and longevity and, unfortunately, it has been just as rare.  Only 11 horses have accomplished this feat, with an amazing three horses winning in a five year span (1973-1978).  There hasn’t been a living Triple Crown winner since Seattle Slew passed on May 7, 2002. In short, the horse racing industry needs California Chrome to deliver in a big way.

 Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

With the odds that the California Chrome has already overcome, why not beat the odds again to end the Triple Crown drought? So far, the horse has had the same post positions in the three races as the great Secretariat (5-3-2). Is that a sign that California Chrome will be the horse to do it? On Saturday afternoon, all eyes will once again be on the Belmont as yet another horse attempts to write its name on the pages of history, to put its name among the best horses ever. California Chrome, the horse racing world is behind you, it’s time to win history. 33 horses have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and only 11 have gone on to win the Belmont. California Chrome, now is the time to really shine.