Friday, May 09, 2008


In my article called Run for the Roses I told you about Big Brown and how he had a chance to make history just like Barack Obama, by proving the critics wrong. Well the Big boy sure did it right coming from the 20th post position to run away with the Derby. While he was the betting favorite it means little in the Derby as the favorite only wins about once every ten years. But this horse is special and how often can you make money on a favorite. Magically the horse converted my bet of $50 to win to $170, a payoff three times the bet.

But I also believe Big Brown is going win the most difficult of all sporting challenges, the Triple Crown. Three races of over a mile against the best horses in the world during a five week period is the true test of champions. In the 134 years since the Kentucky Derby began only 11 horses have won the coveted Triple Crown. It has been 30 years since the last Triple Crown champion, Affirmed in 1978, the longest drought ever between Triple Crown champions.

Since Affirmed won in 1978 ten horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but none won the Belmont Stakes to claim the Triple Crown. The closest was Real Quiet in 1998 who lost by a nose in the Belmont. This year Big Brown could put an end to the long wait as he seems to run stronger in each new race and so far in just four career wins he won by about 33 lengths. You are not going to want to miss these last two races.

Now no horse will ever be the champion like Secretariat in 1973 who blazed to glory winning the three races by a record total of 36 lengths. It had been 25 years since the previous Triple Crown winner and to this day Secretariat holds the records in the Derby and Belmont, and would be the record holder in the Preakness except for a freak breakdown of timing devices in the race.

As for the last winner, Affirmed, his legendary races against Alydar rank as the best competition of all time. Alydar was the only horse to ever finish 2nd in all three races and in the Belmont when Affirmed was going for the Triple Crown they were nose to nose at the finish line with Affirmed winning in a photo finish by a nose. In all three races the two horses finished just two lengths apart.

The tragic story of Alydar pictured below with Affirmed at the finish of the Belmont, the horse who went from 2nd place in the Triple Crown to the most successful breeding thoroughbred of all time before a mysterious murder at the fabled Calumet Farms and an insurance payoff of $50 million will be a subject of a later expose in this paper.

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