Archive for smarty jones

triple crown? we don’t need no stinkin’ triple crown

Posted in horse racing, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on June 14, 2008 by AccountKiller

So Big Brown failed miserably in the Belmont Stakes, failing to give American racing fans the Triple Crown they wanted to see so badly. However, the truth of the matter is, this was a very down year for 3-year-olds and Big Brown was beating lousy competition for the most part.  Big Brown’s 100 Beyer speed rating in the Preakness was awful in comparison to past winning speed ratings.  

However, his undefeated record, Derby performance, and then winning the Preakness vs nobodies, had all helped build the perception that Big Brown was one of the all-time greats.  If he had taken the Belmont Stakes, casual fans would’ve thought Big Brown was better than recent superhorses Point Given, Smarty Jones, and Afleet Alex, all of which Big Brown couldn’t hold a candle to.

This all brings us to this weekend.  Today Curlin makes his return to North America as he is racing in the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.  Curlin never had built up any Triple Crown hysteria as he played the role of spoiler to Street Sense, but Curlin is still one of the greats.  All he did in his 3-year old campaign was break his maiden, win the Arkansas Derby, Preakness, Jockey Gold Club, and Breeder’s Cup Classic, earning over $5 million.  The best part?  His owners didn’t just send him to the Bunny Ranch, they wanted him to continue racing, a life typically reserved for geldings.

Curlin’s 4 year old campaign has started off with a bang, notching 2 wins in Dubai, including the Dubai World Cup by nearly 8 lengths.  He’s earned almost $4 million so far in 2008.

So while the rest of America is subjected to the cowardice of Big Brown’s owners, the blame-game being played between his trainer and jockey, and the questions about his steroid injections, racing fans in Kentucky are in for a treat today.  If Curlin wins today, ESPN should postpone one of their awful Coors Light cold-hard 6-pack of question segments, and instead talk about a real superhorse.  One without controversy and questionable connections, one with unmatched talent, one who has competed against better competition, one who is still racing despite being worth a life-changing fortune in stud value.

Pay attention, and make sure to enjoy each of Curlin’s performances; we may not see another thoroughbred like him that is allowed to keep entertaining us past age 3.