Well, many of you know I love thoroughbred racing, this guy could very well be the best horse of the decade. Many will quibble over the best races or trophies. The triple crown series in the US is hard to rival. Though the pomposity of the Melbourne Cup is second to none, it lacks the history of super horses needed to prove themselves 3 times on 3 diff tracks (Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and the Preakness). Trivia buffs, where is the Preakness run?
Of course, there are triple crowns in UK but in terms of stature, status and prizemoney, nothing beats the Triple Crown in the US. Though Dubai can pour millions more in prizemoney, its a bit like Roman Abramovich's money in football: that's not quite the way its done matey. There are other significant races in the world such as the Epsom Derby, L'Arc de Triomphe, Japan Cup, Golden Slipper and the Cox Plate... but the Triple Crown attracts attention for each year we wait to see if there is a super horse to win all three in a year. In its 133 year history, only 11 horses have won all 3 races. The last horse to do it was Affirmed in 1978. The 70s was marked by the 3 great horses, Affirmed was one, the other two also won the triple crown, namely, Seattle Slew in 1977 and Secretariat in 1973. So its been nearly 30 years since greatness has been proven. Naturally, there were hardluck stories, some just winning two of the three races, some encountered bad luck in a race which robbed them of the glory. Sometimes, to be immortalised, it takes more than ability, it also has an element of destiny in it. Real Quiet almost did it in 1998, but lost the Belmont by a nose.
This year I have a feeling about this unbeaten horse Curlin, unchallenged and now he's the favourite for the Kentucky Derby, the first of the 3 races. The colt a slight 7-2 favourite over 4-1 Street Sense. Still, Curlin has a few things to overcome. He didn't compete as a two-year-old and has run only three races in his career - though he won them by a combined 28 lengths. Thats an incredible 9 lengths a races. Most races are decided by the winning horse beating the second horse by less than a length (one length is about a small car's length). So Curlin won his races by nearly 10 car lengths each time. History isn't on his side, either. It's been 125 years since Apollo won after skipping his two-year-old season. Still, it takes a freak to win by nearly 10 lengths each time even though the earlier races were much easier. The main danger is the big shortener Street Sense which has plunged from 6-1 to 4-1 in just over 48 hours. As this year's live action was won by NBC over ESPN, maybe we will get to see some action over at channel 91, maybe.