A great weekend for racing and a fitting finale for the Triple Crown. As Summer Bird crossed the wire in the third jewel of the Triple Crown on Saturday, my daughter Erin reminded me of a statement I made on Thursday before the Derby standing outside barn 42 at Churchill Downs. She asked me who "really didn't belong in the gate for the Derby?" I distinctly remember telling her I thought both of the "Bird Horses" just didn't fit. Those "Bird Horses" were Mine That Bird and Summer Bird. Both of them were housed very close to our Oaks Contender, Justwhistledixie. That's racing.
The New York Times, while not very kind to racing overall this spring, did have an interesting article on reworking the Triple Crown. Take a look http://therail.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/triple-crown-needs-major-reform/?scp=1&sq=len%20friedman&st=cse
I am going to take a harder look at this issue in the coming months. On the surface, changing the timing of the Triple Crown seems like a decent idea, but is it viable? A very important question is what it does to the economics of the two tracks involved, Pimlico and Belmont.
More and more, I am realizing the only real "magic wand" for horses is time and Mother Nature. As the article indicates, they run so hard and dig down so deep; horses need more and more time to "regroup". I know some need more time than others, but the data is pretty darn conclusive that time helps in a big way.
I do know something has to change as the Triple Crown season destroys too many horses. Year after year, people push and push horses who just aren't ready - and for what? Almost all owners talk about "doing the right thing for the horse". Sadly not everyone puts words into action.
We have a big week ahead with Macho Again in the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on Saturday. We'll try to win the race for the second time in three years with Robbie Albarado on a grey colt from the Holy Bull line.
Have a great week-