Many people feel that with modern day race horses, it is simply not right to ask them to run that many races in that short of a time frame. And they make a point. Most of these modern-day, top level racehorses touch the track once every month or so, if you really have something special, you may be able to pop out a monthly race. But with so much invested in breeding, and the scary relaity that horses break down frequently, people run them less. And I feel it is true, these horses are not made the same as the older ones especially since we entered the new milenia. It's all about speed, so the horses require more time to recover after a race than their ancestors. What should be changed, if anything?
People argue to change the distance of the races...personally...erm why? That would definitely be changing too much, and I don't think the distances are THAT varying to affect a great horse.Yes, the Belmont is the longest race these horses may ever run, but it's the Triple Crown! Something has to distinguish greatness.
The other aspect of the Crown people are considering...is the time in between races. Again, seeing as theses horses don't run as often as the greats of the past, should be give them a Triple Crown series which is more realistic for the times? I will admit, if they are going to make a change, this is the one they should make. Perhaps we would get a more constant field, and a larger fan base around the horses, which would be great! It would make more of the top horses come to the tracks more frequently, Great! The best three-year olds would face off more often, Great!! Who knows, if the Crown was ran say, one race a month, perhaps Rachel (or less likely but more amazingly, Mine That Bird, sorry I love him) would have won it! Wouldn't that have been amazing? However, I can't lie, I would go completely crazy whenever they say "so and so won the Triple Crown," because they won the modified Triple Crown. Now, if they could bite their tongue and at the very least, not compare a modified Triple Crown to the current method, I would be ok. But comparing a modified Triple Crown winner to a traditional Triple Crown winner, would just be irritating.
I know people are really talking about making changes this year because this is the first time in a long time, that neither the Derby winner nor the Preakness winner are taking part in the Belmont. But...I don't think that is a huge deal, not this year. I remember very clearly they announcers talking rather lowly of the crop of three year-olds that showed up to the Derby. They were unhappy with the horses in the DERBY! Why would they think they field would be any better in the Belmont?
Personally, I don't think all hope is lost when it comes to a modern day colt winning the current Triple Crown grind. Since just 2000, two horses have shown, that if their Derby trip had gone better, they would have won the Triple. Point Given and Afleet Alex lost the Derby, but came back to win both the Preakness and Belmont. Not to mention Point Given's daddy, Thunder Gulch, who won the Derby and came back to win the Belmont in '95.
So what do you think? Should they change it to accommodate the new type of racehorse? Or should we be patient and wait for that special horse that is going to blow the nation away?
ESPN's poll (with 16,000+ voters so far) currently stands at:
Adding more time in between=25%
Changing distance and adding time=18%
Leave it alone=51%
As much as I would LOVE to see a traditional Triple Crown winner, I am, and always will be what is best for helping the industry gain interest, and of course, what is best for the horses.
(Yes, it's Rock Hard Ten, he ran in the Gems, but well...we know how that turned out. But he is a favorite of mine! That horse was a monster! Anyway, this is from HorseHats.com, is for sale, and is beautiful!)