Horse racing is called the Sport of Kings and for good reason, if you own a good enough racehorses you have a chance to win the legendary Triple Crown, a fitting trophy for any King.
The Triple Crown consists of three races for three-year-old thoroughbred horses; The Kentucky Derby, The Preakness, and The Belmont Stakes. Winning all three of these races is considered the greatest accomplishment of thoroughbred horse racing. In recent years no one has won the Triple Crown; the last was Affirmed in 1978. Now for horse owners those statistics mean something; they might just have the next Triple Crown winner in their stable! But for horse racing fans who like to bet on the nags, those statistics make for lots of gambling because if one horse has a chance to win it all horse racing gamblers will lay large sums on the races. The more drama and intrigue, the more the betting. Heck for the last few years a major credit card company offered a five million dollar bonus to the horse that could win all three but couldn’t get rid of it!
Now this year there was no horse that had a chance to win the Triple Crown because Derby winner Street Sense passed. So even if Curlin, the Preakness winner won the Belmont it would only be two out of three, not the whole deal! Well, you can guess what that meant. There was noticeably a lack of interest on the gamblers part and the Belmont Stakes, while well attended, fell far below a good year. It’s true; there could be no real drama in a race that didn’t mean a whole lot. But wait, for those who attended the track in person or watched on TV, the race was probably one of the most exciting, well run, and historic horse races of all time.
In a spectacular run down the final stretch Rags to Riches outran the powerful Curlin and with her long chestnut neck thrust forward became the first filly to beat the boys at Belmont in 102 years. The race had all the aspects of a Hollywood classic, a girl versus six boys and outrunning all of them in end. Racing insiders and analysts say her win has probably done more to raise the publics’ interest in the sport that anything in the last few years. So while it may go down as the race a lot of folks didn’t see, it will also be remembered as the race with a storybook ending!
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