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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

The Triple Crown Loser's Club

California Chrome vs History 615x400
When it comes to this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, most horse racing fans hope that California Chrome will take the advice of Groucho Marx.

Of course, the club to which I refer first began taking members in 1979. That first member was one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time, Spectacular Bid. The Bid won 26 of 30 career starts and $2,781,607. He entered the Belmont Stakes on a twelve race win streak and his loss kept him from becoming the third consecutive Triple Crown winner. Thus, The Bid became the charter member of this club in which you do not actually want to be a member.
The club has a rather exclusive membership, even though you really don’t want to be a part of this group. There are four Hall of Famers in the club: Bid, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, and Silver Charm. All twelve members became the Champion Three-Year-Old Male. Sunday Silence and Charismatic even went on to become Horse of the Year after their sophomore seasons.
Several members got close to shutting the doors of the club. The second place finishes of Sunday Silence, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and Smarty Jones, however, were not enough; and they, too, gained membership to the club.
After 20 years, in 1998, coming down the stretch it seemed certain that Real Quiet was not going to accept a spot in the club. At the top of the stretch he had a four-length lead, but luck was not on his side as Victory Gallop came roaring down the stretch to catch Real Quiet in the very last possible moment.
Big Brown and I’ll Have Another most recently had no chance to win the Triple Crown and accepted their membership to the club by default. Big Brown pulled up on the final turn in the 2008 Belmont and I'll Have Another retired from racing before the 2012 Test of Champions.
On Saturday a huge crowd is expected to break the Belmont Stakes attendance record of 120,139. That is how great the anticipation is for a new Triple Crown winner. Over the past 36 years the club of Triple Crown failures has grown. This weekend California Chrome will take his shot to join a different club, horse racing’s most exclusive one, and become the 12th Triple Crown winner. 


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Older Comments about The Triple Crown Loser's Club...

The last part of your comment is too funny. If you want a great experience I highly recommend Canada's East coast. Newfoundland especially. Beautiful part of the Country as is the West coast in British Columbia. As for Tonalist' potential. I agree.
EP Taylor , I didn't mean to give the impression he was already as good as Victory Gallop or any other horse for that matter. I meant he the "potential" to be very good, nothing more. Also I would wager on him against other top 3yos, but not older horses at this time as Palace Malice and Will Take Charge are very good older horses and a bit much for a 3yo in the near future. Then again if they keep Stevens and PM doesn't run I would bet him against any of the remaining horses including WTC. If saez comes back I believe he'll keep him closer to the pace as he did when he was on him and we'll see a much improved horse. As for Bluebonnet's and who gave me Raymond Benoit's name as the announcer I thought it was you. I guess not. The trouble with Canada is there are to many Canadians. Hard to keep track of all of you. I always enjoyed myself when up there. I never traveled outside of Ontario province though. The only problem I had was when they wanted to ignore you, knowing I was American they just start speaking French.
Icy- I would like to see more. No doubt he has talent, but needs more time to be compared to Victory Gallop's 3 year old year. Ithink when the JCGC comes around and he is good form that is when I might take a shot on him. He beat my Belmont pick by a head, so I am not ruling out Commissioner either going forward. As for the Blu bonnet races, that may be Vic your talking about as far as backing up your comment. I wasn't born yet ;)
EP Taylor , If Tonalist can adapt to other tracks the way he runs at Belmont he could be a very good horse. Considering Tapit is having another good year and many are watching Untapable, he may have gotten over looked. His next out if he has decent works and looks to be in form I'll bet him back again. He's a huge smooth striding horse. This of course isn't meant to take anything away from California Chrome who joined the club which is the subject of this article. It seems to me any of the horses in this club are among some of the best to have ever run. Have a good day EP. I would recommend a wager on Tonalist next outing if it seems he's in form. I believe he's more than a one race wonder as he ran that race 4 and 5wide on the turns, something just not done with success at Belmont. BTW: I haven't forgotten I owe you one for backing up my statement of a race caller switching from English to French during the race at Bluebonnets race track in the late 1960s, and appreciate the information you provided me with. My lifelong friend who only cares to watch harness racing to this day and was with me still laughs about that. Concerning this article, Majestic Prince lost the Belmont Stakes in 1969. Up to that time he was unbeaten and IMO along with Spectacular Bid was one of the two best horse to just miss. It was his last race, a race in which it was reported he ran hurt and never ran again. Ironically among his progeny was Coastal, winner of the 1979 Belmont Stakes, in which Spectacular Bid was denied the triple crown by what many deemed a nefarious scheme by other jockeys in the race. I was curious why he wasn't included? Possibly you were just starting during the period of the last long dry spell, however when MP ran in that race it was during another dry spell of 22 years since the great Citation won the Triple Crown.
No, generally a farrier would be required for that kind of work
Tonalist can't change Victory Gallop's Shoes.
Now Tonalist reminds me of Victory Gallop.
Thanks, Brian, that's exactly what it was meant to be, a fun article pointing out the rigors of the Triple Crown!
The other club is the one we all want him to join ... fun piece, Matt!
I feel like the schoolgirl who has been dumped a dozen times, and finally has gotten wise to the theme of the game. I'll be there with "guarded optimism", to avoid the swift kick in the ____, but at the very least once again experience the roar and entire grandstand shake during the most exhilarating 2 1/2 minutes in sports.
Plausible deniability meets pretzel logic :)
California Chrome reminds me of Real Quiet, and Wicked Strong reminds me of Victory Gallop. Not saying it will end the same way, but wouldn't be surprised if it did. I didn't pick California Chrome for either the KD or Preakness, but that doesn't mean I didn't make any money on those races. However, I don't believe California Chrome will win the Belmont. I was wrong twice before, but I'm right about 30% of the time. So I'm due to get this one right.
California Chrome will make history this Saturday at Belmont, period Amen.
jverg, I don't think I have said a single negative thing about Cal Chrome all year. If you read the article it is all about Chrome not being part of the club. No LOL needed!
California Chrome will not be getting a invite for this club. He is going to be wearing his WINGS on Saturday.
The true members of the Triple Crown Loser's Club are those HRN members who DID NOT pick California Chrome to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and now, the Belmont Stakes. I can name a few but I won't. It is up to them to admit that they really belong to this club, TC Loser's Club. LOL
California Chrome will WIN and you know who(Matt) does'nt belong in this business..lol
(Duly noted) ...better late than never, kamal.gaddah :)
General A Rod or Commissioner
California Chrome will win the Triple Crown. 6-7-2014 at BELMONT STAKES Race#11.( Remember this) CC will not join your club.

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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