Dreaming of the Crown

It’s hard to believe it’s been 36-years since the last Triple Crown winner. I remember when Mike Battaglia was on the Winning Ponies Internet show, and we we’re talking horses. Mike has been a fixture on the racing scene for quite awhile, and when we opened the topic of the Derby. I asked Mr. Battaglia if  he could look back and tell me which Derby was his favorite. “That’s easy, Ed. – It was my first.” – It was 1978, and Alydar and Affirmed.

Now, if Art Sherman could reach out and tell someone to jump off the bandwagon. I could expect my phone to ring at any minute. Even the bandwagon has a weight limit. If you watched the race, you start feeling that chill running down your arm. California Chrome ran like he was a $100 million sales purchase. If he were a baseball player, he would be Curt Gibson. If the colt was a golfer, he would be John Daly. A competitor indeed, but not expected to come out and play at the “A” game. I think he fooled many in the Derby, but after the Preakness he looks legit. I haven’t seen a game effort like that in many moons, and in three weeks he’ll face new shooters in the Belmont Stakes.

Coming in into the race, I was still trying to convince myself  how this colt woke up to be undefeated in 2014. How could this cheap runner beat the best? Well, it could be that this isn’t the best crop in years. Or, could it be that injury and ailment’s have kept runners who are better ? – How can this Cal-bred be expected to win? Easy, one race at a time. If you are not taken by the trainer Art Sherman, you must have missed the race. Did you see his tears of joy? How about his stories of Swaps? Is there a more humble hero who deserves the throne? There is no sense of entitlement, and he knows this is will probably be his only chance to be here. How about the average guy owners? Well, until yesterday I was taken with them. But, when you bash Churchill Downs on the national stage. There is never going to be a winner. If you agree, or disagree. It just doesn’t need to be brought up at that moment. I’ll rule it off to excitement and being overly happy. This won’t tarnish the Triple Crown trail, but I’m sure Churchill Downs will address many issues. They handled everything with the utmost professionalism, and don’t forget that the connections of C.C. will have to work with Churchill for licensing, etc. if the colt goes on to win at Belmont. Expect some kind words from their camp this week.

These next three weeks are going to be fun. New shooters, get ready as you’ll have to bring something special. Nobody has figured out how yet, but you can always hope he gets caught in traffic on the Long Island expressway.