Triple Crown, it’s worth talking about. In fact, there’s no reason the horse
racing news should not be dominated by it – and it is. Some might argue that the
industry does not need it. Okay, but who in their right mind would claim that
the industry doesn’t want it.
fans, we want it too. Regardless of whether you are rooting for California Chrome or not, I’m willing to bet that it cannot undermine the hunger you have
for it. But why - it’s simple; the Triple Crown is not easy to win.
shed a little more light on the phrase, term or achievement of legendary
proportions let’s look at another drought that recently ended.
2012, Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers became the first player in Major
League Baseball history to win the elusive Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. We have switched gears to another sport but this should prove how just revered the
words Triple Crown truly are.
was another athlete that year that almost had an attempt at making it even more
special. In 1937, War Admiral and Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals both
scored the Triple Crown. Something that makes it so difficult is avoiding
injury. Unfortunately for team I’ll Have Another there would be no Belmont
Stakes and no chance at the Triple Crown prior to Miguel Cabrera cementing
himself as one of the best hitters of all time.
Triple Crown Winners
| Major League Baseball
|| Horse Racing
||St. Louis (AA)
||St. Louis (NL)
||St. Louis (NL)
||New York (AL)
||St. Louis (NL)
||New York (AL)
horse racing baseball seems endless. To be eligible or in contention you have
to be durable, relentless, on top of your game at all times and prepared for
the most difficult challenge of them all; the competition.
Yet, that is where the two are so similar. The Triple Crown season in horse racing
may only be a fraction of the amount time it takes to play 162 games but within
these 35 days everything I mentioned above is still required. As for comparing
the two side by side it’s apples and oranges.
fans often ask which achievement is tougher. I have thought about it several
times but on each occasion I tend to sway from one end to the other. I wrestle
with the time it takes to win. As mentioned I can’t decide whether or not it is
easier to accomplish something so grand in only 5 weeks versus 6 months. Or, if
the test of leading in multiple statistical categories outweighs the drive it
takes to just win.
like its season, is long. There’s so much more time to correct any minor errors. In the pursuit of the original Triple Crown, however, an athlete has
no more than two minutes and thirty seconds to make all the right moves and
barely any mistakes. But that’s just racing. Line up, off you go, may the best
baseball you can enter the batter’s box and fail. You can then fail again
before you manage an RBI single during your third at bat. Next time around a
batter may get what anyone would love; a walk off homer in the bottom of the
ninth that scores a win, an average of .500 for the day and a whole lot of
stats in the bank. On the contrary you may also fail all day long or sometimes
all series long. But, if you are primed for battle all of those stats can be
saved with an outstanding set of plate appearances over the course of the next
Baseball’s credit though think about how many challengers a player has to face. There
is just no way horse racing compares. Imagine how difficult a horse's Triple Crown would
be if they had to face that many competitors. Or, should we consider the
qualification process as part of the season?
glad I asked myself that because I think so. The Triple Crown is won in just 5
weeks but in order to be a contender the leg work to qualify for the Kentucky
Derby cannot be overlooked.
still, Baseball has a lot more full time hitters and even more pitchers. Their
Triple Crown winners face more challengers thus bringing my original conclusion back into play:
apples and oranges.
else that has always intrigued me about the comparison relates to the age of
the athlete. In the MLB there is the young, Giancarlo Stanton – 24 yrs old (NL RBI
and HR Leader), the players in their prime, Troy Tulowitzki – 29 years old (NL
BA leader), and the veterans, Nelson Cruz – 34 years young (AL RBI and HR
Leader) and Victor Martinez – 35 years young (AL BA Leader).
that is quality competition. In horse racing it’s only the 3-yr-old's that race
for the most prized accomplishment – a significant difference.
element that is very different between them is that baseball players have a
distinct advantage. How many horses have ever been able to race for the Triple
Crown on separate occasions? Zero, any age before or after 3 disqualifies you.
As for Americas’ pastime the opportunities always equal the amount of seasons
the 16 winners, 2 players account for four of those crowns. So, if age was not a
requirement how many people think Secretariat would have been a two-time Triple
it doesn’t work that way. So no horse will have the chance to match Hall of
Fame names like Ted Williams or Rogers Hornsby. Since ball players are able to
grind it out season after season it might also explain why Major League
Baseball has more winners. However, in the opinion of some, only 5 players are true
Triple Crown winners. The MLB recognizes Triple Crown winners as players that lead their league, AL or
NL, but only 5 led all of baseball in each of the 3 major league stats. Consequently,
we should separate them as the most dominant seasons in professional baseball history.
can horse racing compare to these rare achievements? The Breeders’ Cup and the
Classic Division were born in 1984, or 6 Kentucky Derby’s after Affirmed won
the Triple Crown. So by that timeline maybe the sport can begin to play catch up. Should we ever see a 3-yr-old so good that he (or she)
captures all four could we then compare that champion to Baseball’s big 5.
now that would be one for the ages. However, we should not get ahead of
ourselves as the pursuit of the next Triple Crown is what needs to be
accomplished first. And if it is this week, California Chrome should be
greeted with nothing short of greatness.
biggest reason is because of the drought which brings us to another similarity.
3, 2012 is the date that went down in the history books for the third baseman
of the Detroit Tigers. On that night in Kansas City, Missouri Cabrera became the
first player in 45 years to lead his league in Batting Average, RBI’s and HR’s.
He also proved that he was the best hitter in the game.
that is because his accomplishment takes us back to its rightful name; The
Triple Crown. Synonymous with a King there is no better term. Especially when
it is applied to a sporting event that grabs the interest of everyone involved.
It is a spectacle that is so rare, appreciated and sometimes cherished to a
higher degree than any other achievements within the sport.
can California Chrome end the drought and become one of the most prized horses
of the 21st century by winning the 2014 Belmont Stakes?
We have traveled 35 years since Affirmed scored in 1978 so if he is, it will be welcomed.
His story, his connections, his road to the Belmont Stakes speaks for itself.
This is the toughest race of the Triple Crown but California Chrome, like many
before him, seems poised for the race of his life.
that’s what the majority of us want to see; Another Triple Crown winner.
term has been around for decades but it’s still looked at and interpreted with
as much admiration. Scoring it is the stuff legends are made of. What fan of
baseball does not recognize the names of the players that were good enough to
hit one of the most difficult trifectas that any of us could ever dream of.
Much the same, what horse racing fan won’t remember a name like California
Chrome should he be so good to become the next.
to baseball, and Miguel Cabrera, how many halfway interested fans will jump on
board full time if he wins. Just think about how many people are going to
Belmont Park just to say that they were there or how many $2 tickets will be
purchased without any intent on ever cashing them.
The comparison between Baseballs Triple Crown versus Horse Racing is difficult. At
the end of the debate the two historic and gigantic
achievements however can be looked at from an apples to apples point of view. They are
rare but they are extremely desired by members of the team, friends, family and
Luck team California Chrome, may history be yours to make. And, should it be the
time that all of us have been waiting for…………….We are ready.