In 1973 the world was in turmoil and America was just finishing one of the most challenging decades in the history of our nation. There were student riots, anti-Vietnam war riots, Civil Rights riots, assassinations of major public figures, and we were ending ten years of war in Asia leaving over 57,000 dead.
Towns were in flames as wave after wave of social issues pummeled America, shaking it to the very foundation. Then there was the Cold war, Bay of Pigs, Cuban missile crisis, and even Watergate break in. Our institutions were under assault by the very citizens of our country.
In 1973 it had been twenty-five years since a horse had won horse racing's coveted Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. We were barely out of the second World War when Citation won in 1948.
There have only been 11 Triple Crown Champions since 1875. The longest drought without a champion since the first Triple Crown in 1919 is the current 37 years. Second longest was the 25 years before Secretariat became champion in the most remarkable series of races in thoroughbred history. As I have outlined, it came when the nation was in need of a new hero and in need of hope. To this day Secretariat holds the record for fastest in all three races.
Triple Crown Champions
1919 Sir Barton
1930 Gallant Fox
1937 War Admiral
1943 Count Fleet
Saturday we might get to watch history being made when American Pharaoh attempts to win the magical Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, the longest race the horse has ever run. Many get the chance but few have captured the brass ring and walked away with the Triple Crown.
Following is a very good article analyzing the prospects in the race.
The Horse I'll Bet to Upset American Pharoah
By David Papadopoulos
Pharoah on this day.
The math looks like this:
Combined, that’s a 20-percentage point gap between market prices and my true-value calculations. For any gambler worth his salt, that’s a huge green light to go ahead and bet the undervalued horse.
So I will.
Here’s a breakdown of the full
-No. 1 Mubtaahij (10-1) -- I was underwhelmed by his effort in the Kentucky Derby. He made the same basic mechanical mistakes that he had in his previous races, and his daily workouts at
-No. 2 Tale of Verve (15-1) -- This colt’s trainer, Dallas Stewart, is cut from the same cloth as the men in charge of numbers 4 and 7 (Nick Zito and Dale Romans): Dreamers who ambitiously place their horses in
-No. 3 Madefromlucky (12-1) -- This horse has the right running style for the
-No. 4 Frammento (30-1) -- He was in over his head in the Kentucky Derby and he is again here. For those looking for reasons to bet him, though, note that Zito has spoiled two Triple Crown bids in the past 11 years, knocking off Smarty Jones in 2004 and Big Brown four years later. Both times, his horses paid over 30-1.
-No. 5 American Pharoah (3-5) -- The big horse. He has all the tools. Questions are, especially for those inclined to back him at such prohibitive odds: Will he handle
-No. 6 Frosted (5-1) -- A very talented, well-bred colt that ran big in the
-No. 7 Keen Ice (20-1) -- He stumbled into some traffic in the
-No. 8 Materiality (6-1) -- He’s fast, he’s rested and he’s much more seasoned now after getting bounced around early in the Derby (he surged by 11 horses in the stretch that day to finish sixth). Now some touts spotted flaws in his final major workout last week, but they’re nitpicking. To my eye, it looked good. And when I asked his trainer Todd Pletcher what he made of the chatter, he was unmoved: “I wouldn’t listen to any of that.” This is where I’m putting my money.
(David Papadopoulos, managing editor for the