California Chrome Triple Crown Collapse a Sign of the Times

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But it's not the Triple Crown that is broken but the horses of this regrettable era in horse racing where horses are trained to run once every seven or eight weeks, when the toughest workout they get is the occasional four-furlongs breeze in 49 seconds, how can they possibly be tough enough and fit enough to turn in three strong effort in the period of five weeks, with the last race coming at a mile-and-half? They can't.

The sport needs to return to a bygone era when horses ran on only hay, oats and water and their trainers weren't afraid to run them often or train them hard in between starts. That's not going to happen, at least any time soon.

So prepare yourself for more of the same. It is easy for the Kentucky Derby winner to win the Preakness because so many Derby starters skip that race and rest up for the Belmont. That makes the Derby-Preakness double perfectly doable. But when they get to Belmont they're going to run into the same problem every time. A lot of the opponents will be fresh, rested and dangerous and the horse that has won Rounds 1 and 2 is going to have a hard time not falling apart.

Maybe someday some horse will win the Triple Crown. Amidst this drought, Real Quiet, far from a superstar, missed by a nose. So, perhaps, it can be done. But it's going to take an extra special horse. That wasn't California Chrome. He's merely very good. When it comes to a challenge that is as close to impossible as it gets, very good just doesn't get it done.

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