The 2010 thoroughbred horse racing season has seen its Triple Crown races pass, yet thoroughbred racing fans can still look ahead to some key summer races such as the Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Track in upstate NY this August, and of course the Breeder’s Cup World Championships in the first weekend of November, to be held for the first time at Churchill Downs. So, we will now see the end of the 2010 thoroughbred racing season in the same venue in which it began, for a historic first.
Some things disappear. Vanish. Just go away.
Sure, there are reasons, explanations, scapegoats, but the simple fact is that things disappear.
Unfortunately, down that same path more things might disappear.
Eleven. Currently, that’s the most important number in American horse racing. There have been eleven Triple Crown winners spread out over 59 years.
However, since the dawn of television, which for arguments sake was 1952, there have only been three horses that could claim all three legs.
For any American who could not get to Louisville, Ky., Baltimore, or Elmont, N.Y., the first time he or she saw a champion horse was in 1952 when CBS affiliate WHAS covered the Kentucky Derby and the signal was broadcast across the country. Hill Gail won the race as the favorite, but an injury kept him out of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He never won another major stakes in his career.