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A New Triple Crown Winner

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A good deal of my youth was spent at horse race tracks. And while that is a separate and long story, I'm happy to finally see a Triple Crown winner. Good job American Pharoah!

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Horse racing, the Sport of Kings, is certainly a relic of a bygone era. Much like boxing, which has seen a similar drop in interest over the past three to four decades, a number of factors has led to its decline.

 

Ironically, horse racing runs at a much slower pace, with a half hour in between races and a much higher learning curve to master. Knowing how to read a racing form and to decipher the inscrutable numbers denoting fraction times for maiden, claiming, allowance and stakes races is an art along with developing your own "system".

 

The explosion of online, sports betting and tribal casinos has bled away the attention of compulsive gamblers looking to get rich quick, squandering their welfare and social security checks in the chase for easy money. Horse racing is a dirty sport. On the other hand, watching thoroughbreds run a circuit around a track, the anticipation of the starting gate opening, feeling the beat of hoofs upon the turf, the feeling you get watching your horse turning for home is a beautiful thing to behold.

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Pharoah benefited from a fairly slow first half pace and had enough endurance to pull away there at the final 1/8 mile. Impressive. The closer Frosted didn't have enough to run down the favorite. And Frosted had to contend with traffic throughout. It looks like American Pharoah could have run a faster time if pushed early by Materiality but that is all supposition.

 

And of course, the final time of 2:26 and change was about two seconds slower than Secretariat's momentous run. Which is mind-blowing to think about.

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I know nothing about horse racing or horses.  Back when I was in college I used to work at a magazine store, we would get in a special delivery every day of the horse racing newspaper.  It was the only paper we would not hold for people behind the counter without them pre-paying first.  I guess that says something about people that gamble a lot.  I have a lot of stories about working in that store actually.  There is nothing quite like having to go over and open the glass case full of the adult magazines for some creepy dude in sweatpants (they always wore sweatpants.)  

 

I don't really have any issues with Horse racing, but I am not a fan of dog racing.  Back in those days I had a room mate that had adopted a couple greyhounds.  They were absolutely lovely dogs and I grew rather fond of them.  The dog racing business is pretty nasty, I am not a fan of anything where dogs are destroyed because they can't win money anymore.  Other species?  Fuck em, they deserve to be on my dinner plate.  Dogs are special.  Also, the sight of a greyhound running at full speed is amazing.  My wife is much more of a horse person, she grew up with horses and likes them quite a bit.  When we watch a move and a tank shows up, I am always like "that's the wrong type of tank."  If we watch a movie with a horse, she is like "that's not the right type of horse!"  

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I agree Walter. Dog racing is a nasty business. To be fair, horse racing is too. Both for the toll on the humans and the animals.

 

I know the type you are talking about when it comes to the purchasers of the Daily Racing Form. They're the sort who will go fishing in the garbage for a copy because it costs a buck-fifty and they can't afford it. But they won't bat an eye when it comes to dropping $200 on a "sure thing" in the fourth race.

 

But like you mentioned, seeing these animals run and perform in the way they were bred for creates an exuberance that is organic to the human soul.

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Eh. When I first posted this, there were no links to link. Plus it is rather silly to link to something that a person can find on any news site.

 

The LA Times has a rundown on how the 12 Triple Crown winners should be ranked.

 

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-ranking-triple-crown-winners-20150607-story.html

 

As for American Pharoah's next race, it seems likely that he will run in the Breeders Cup in October. And maybe one or two more races as a tune-up. But with how crazy horse racing economics are, he's far more valuable as a stud, breeding expensive little baby horses.

 

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/jun/07/american-pharoah-del-mar-classic/

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And we have a new Triple Crown winner in Justify.

 

I'll post some analysis of his runs in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and today's Belmont finish later

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