My good friend PolitiJim response to my blog Rust on the Chrome, All or Nothing!
Now I don’t normally post like this and I hope PolitiJim is cool with it. The point is that these debates or discussions will end in dead heat.
I’m of a differing opinion. As it turns out there are more horses that qualified for the Derby racing these past years than in era’s before. When Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, he faced four horses in the Preakness that had not run in the Derby.
Affirmed faced two horses in the Belmont that skipped the Preakness, one of which didn’t run in the Derby either.
Since when did horse racing suddenly get kindergarten self-esteem syndrome? You know the one that says we have to give everyone a medal so they feel good. The corrosion of the value of merit.
Isn’t one of the most special things about the Derby and the two following races the fact it is RARE? If it becomes common for owners like Coburn to win because “they are America’s horse”, why then is the Triple Crown so special. And why should they suddenly achieve the level of recognition that the Seattle Slew’s and Secretariat’s earned by lowering standards? Next we’ll be giving Nobel Peace Prizes to heads of state not based on accomplishment, but on popularity….oh… wait.
Anyway, John Clay (Kentucky.com) had it right. If you change the rules – it’s no longer the Triple Crown: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/06/08/3282227/john-clay-change-the-rules-and.html#storylink=cpy
Hey My Favorite Green Birdie!
Tonalist didn’t even qualify for the Derby. There are more horses than just 20 that run in qualifying Derby races. He ran just four races and didn’t win with exception of the Peter Pan. Tonalist was not mature enough or well enough to handle a packed field of 20.
The rules change whether we are aware of it or not. Horses were always drug tested but later they added the jockeys. In the 80′s the interference rule was added. That boxing out move is illegal if any contact was made.
It was an unofficial rule or the gentlemen’s agreement to not run a fresh horse in the Belmont. 73 only 4 horses ran. Smaller fields also ran in 77 and 78. However, Affirmed and Alydar were as much of a match race as Secretariat and Sham. The match races were a major drawn in themselves so owners not wanting to interfere held horses or ran horses in other stake races.
Somewhere after the 70′s the gentlemen’s rule evaporated and fresh horses (15 since 79)have entered the Belmont. With this current loss 12 horses lost to a fresher horse.
Each track and Racing association create their own rules. The Belmont has always differed from the Triple Crown because once upon a time the Belmont was the elitist race for the sport of Kings. While the bourbon drinking and beer chugging went with the Derby and The Preakness. Once being referred to as the every man’s race letting distillery workers use the infield of Churchill Downs as their gathering place.
Change has happened over time. The Belmont used to run first then moved to the middle and finally at the end. The Triple Crown didn’t exist until the 1900′s and horses and jockeys were later being tested for performance enhancing drugs. Further the unofficial gentlemen’s rule was monitored because of a threat to conspire. Two owners cannot conspire to mark a race and split the winnings. That said a a racing team can strategically plan to set pace.
Coburn’s biggest issue was Tonalist didn’t have hardly any points compared to all the horses. Check the 3 year old racing cards of Affirmed. Check all the other races from that point up and see how much racing the winners have done right up to the Belmont.
The Triple Crown has made changes. Last point if Commissioner, Medal Count and Tonalist (I had General A Rod did run all three and would have won the Belmont anyway) had not run, it was still a dead heat between Wicked Strong and California Chrome and there is no know precedence if Chrome would have the Crown for not being the sole victor.
Change happens and just because a rule might change it doesn’t change the length of Big Sandy and it is a hard race to flat out win. Why do you think it was move to the last race?