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Many Are Called

Posted by on 6/2/2014 10:19:24 PM

Many are called, few are chosen and sports fans and online betting site players will be treated by yet another attempt to win the Triple Crown.

Only 11 have turned the Golden Trifecta of the Derby, Preakness and Belmont. A total of 22 others have won the first 2 Classic tests only to fail in New York.

Three of those did not start in the Belmont and Big Brown did not finish in 2008 after being pulled up. Pensive, Tim Tam, Majestic Prince, Sunday Silence, Silver Charm, Real Quiet and Smarty Jones all had to settle for second when failing to win the Triple Crown.

Let???s take a look at those 11 showstoppers that succeeded knowing there is something unique to all.

Sir Barton blanked as a juvenile, but did the deed in 1919 and he also threw in a win in the Withers between the last 2 legs of the series. Overall, he won 13 of 31 and banked a bit over $100,000.

Eleven years later Gallant Fox opened the 30s to become the first of that decade to win the Triple Crown.

He was only 2 for 7 at 2, took 11 of 17, earned over $300,000 and became the only Triple Crown winner to sire another, Omaha in 1930.

Omaha had a modest 9 for 22 record and earned over $150,000 and he also tested the waters of England as an older horse before being interred at the now defunct Ak-Sar-Ben.

Man o??? War???s son War Admiral repeated Omaha???s feat 2 years later but even though he won 21 of 26, he lost to fabled Seabiscuit in the process.

Whirlaway was the first to win the TripleCrown in the 1940s. His Derby record time of 2:01 2/5 stood for 20 years and he was sound enough to win 32 of 60 and earn over half a million.

Count Fleet won 16 of 21, earned over a quarter of a million, and took the Crown in 1943 when unbeaten as a sophomore under legend Johnny Longden.

Texas-bred Assault won the Crown 3 years later but was punished for it by forcing to race till 7 while posting an 18 for 42 record.

Big Cy, Citation , became the first millionaire of the sport and won the Crown in 1948. At one point he won 15 in a row and only lost twice in 29 starts. The feeling that Big Cy could beat Secretariat pulling a wagon is not an uncommon theme among some veteran horsemen.

Big Red , also known as Secretariat, took 25 years to repeat what Citation had done but no memory is etched in the minds of race goers more than his 31 length win margin in the Belmont Stakes in one of the greatest feats ever in sports.

Two others turned the hat trick in the 70s, Seattle Slew and Affirmed. Slew cost less than 20 grand, and beat Affirmed as a 4-year-old in the Marlboro Cup.

Affirmed is an all-time personal favorite. I watched him work out when I first went to California in the winter of his sophomore year. He was just a beautiful specimen and in 1978 he proved it to the entire world.

He wore his heart on his sleeve as he beat Alydar by narrow margins throughout the campaign. He only lost 4 times in 26 outs and was the first horse to earn more than $2 million.

Why has it been so hard to attain this elusive Triple? For one, horses are for the most part different now. They are much more lightly race and not really up for the grueling grind of winning 3 huge races against the best of a general at three different venues.

Another reason is that with so much money offered juveniles, the temptation to race them young instead of letting them grow into their skin at 2 is hard to not embrace. Hence, you have horses that are still learning when they get to Classics that so much is unknown about their true quality.

It???s been a wild ride and California Chrome has one more chapter to write on June 7.


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