Okay, so California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown. Does that make him any less of a hero?
The answer in these eyes is a resounding H-E-double hockey sticks N-O. Chrome provided the captivation we all know and love for five weeks. He indoctrinated some to the wonderful world of Thoroughbred horse racing while filling other long-time fans of the sport with excitement. His powerful stride and invincible aura were second to none through the first two legs of what has become the most difficult achievement in sports. Unfortunately for us all, like any athlete, Chrome encountered a day when he just didn’t shine as brightly as he has before.
Chrome owner Steve Coburn has been a huge part of the fairy tale story this magnificent runner has spun. After the loss in New York, an obviously disappointed half of the DAP partnership group was bitter as the three horses that finished ahead of his did not run in all three races. In fact, the top two (Tonalist, Commissioner) did not start in either the Derby or Preakness. To Coburn, that might not seem fair, but this is war and as the old saying goes…
The world we live in today certainly makes it much tougher for a Triple Crown winner. With an emphasis of building the breeding resume, the competition has become so much tougher to win just one of these highly coveted races for 3-year olds. The fact Chrome won two of the three legs and was an odds on favorite to complete the sweep speaks volumes about his abilities. From humble beginnings, California Chrome allowed all of us to believe in the American dream. The spirit-filled group that brought this fabulous athlete to the brink of immortality should not feel angry nor disappointed because they were not cheated. New shooters are just part of the game and everyone knew that coming in and that is just one of the hurdles a horse must overcome.
From a fan’s standpoint, maybe it is best California Chrome does not wear the Triple Crown…huh??? Hear me out here. Had he won the Belmont, California Chrome probably would have never stepped foot on a track again. His breeding rights would have been worth $o very much money it would have been $illy to have ever raced him again and ri$ked injury. The dollar signs are to indicate just how obscene it would have been. Chrome is the best three-year old horse in the country and his six race winning streak is over. Hopefully now he will begin a new streak and fans across the country will get to witness more of his magnificence. The Triple Crown series is not the end of the racing season, but only the beginning. Many more big races decorate the calendar with a culmination in the Breeders’ Cup. This year those world Thoroughbred championships will be contested at Santa Anita in California. So just maybe Chrome will now get a chance to shine on that stage.
California Chrome is a warrior and a hero and no matter what happened at Belmont Park, that will never change.
California Chrome May 21 credit Susie Raisher 10