The future of the Triple Crown hangs in the traditions

485

While Little 5 was the biggest race on campus this weekend, "The longest two minutes in sports" also ran this weekend.
This weekend marked the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby, with California Chrome pulling the victory.
California Chrome was the clear favorite in the eyes of handicappers and ended up coming in almost a horse ahead of its closest competition.
The horse was purchased for a mere $10,000, a rarity in today's racing industry.
While California Chrome pedigree was that of an unlikely victor, his Derby win was impressive. He left a big question in the minds of the racehorse minded: can California Chrome pull a Triple Crown victory?
A horse achieves The Triple Crown when it wins three races consecutively, beginning with the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The horse then competes in the Preakness at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore and ends with the Belmont Stakes in New York.
While the Triple Crown is highly sought after, it has only been achieved 10 times since its naming, the last time in 1978 with Affirmed.
Because of its rarity, it has become known as one of sports' most sought after prizes. Unfortunately, however, it is becoming more and more difficult to win, with many experts claiming it is impossible to achieve in today's racing culture.
The reason for the impossibility is horse racing's gradual shift from being all about racing to all about breeding.
As soon as a horse wins, it is immediately bred in an attempt to create faster horses down the road.
The problem here is that there is an uncanny amount of fast horses, with little stamina and more chance of injury. Mix these factors in with the increase in specialized drugs, and you have a plethora of quick, yet easily disposable horses.
This was greatly exhibited by the tragedy of the 2006 Derby winner, Barbaro. Barbaro swept the competition in the first stop en route to the Triple Crown, but in the Preakness struck disaster when the horse fell, broke his leg and died of its injuries.
Last year's Derby winner, I'll Have Another, won the Preakness as well but was scratched from the Belmont because of injuries in practice.
Many believe the fact that the races are so close together, a mere two weeks, could be part of the problem. Spacing the races further apart could give the horses time to catch their breath, per say.
While the traditional two week spacing would be hard to change since it is a large part of the racing community, it could be one of the only options if we want to see the return of a Triple Crown any time soon. The industry sure won't be changing, as it has become a multi-million dollar sport with speed being the main concern of owners.
With the types of horses being bred this-day-in-age, stamina just doesn't seem to be in the picture anymore. For now, the Triple Crown seems a thing of the past.