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55,000 Furlongs to the Finish

What a Triple Crown Winner Would Mean to Me.

What would a Triple Crown winner mean to me?  It’s really hard to say because I have never had the experience it before.  34 years is a long time, and given that I am only 28, I can only listen to my parents talk about horse racing in the glorious 70’s.  War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, and Big Brown are the most recent in my memory, but in all honesty, I didn’t really follow horse racing during their attempts.  I just remember being in college and hearing their names on Sportscenter between baseball highlights and thinking winning the Kentucky Derby/Preakness double was not only routine, but also rather easy.


Well of course that has all changed.  Now that I have become engrained into the world of thoroughbred racing, I look back on my naivety and laugh.  I understand that it is something that is so rare, that it should be cherished and celebrated as if it is the last time it will ever happen.  However, I truly believe that it will happen again, be it this year, or next year, or in another 34 years.  I am confident because I believe God is a horse racing fan.  If he weren’t then Secretariat would have never existed. Now I am not a spiritual person, but I do believe that when the sport’s time is due, it is something we will all know as more than just a binary “yes or no.”


The anticipation for another like Secretariat, Seattle Slew, or Affirmed is what we all hope for.  Maybe this will be the year…?  Maybe next, or the one after that.  If we truly felt satisfied and fulfilled with the accomplishment of previous triple crowns, then we would dismiss it and move on to the next challenge.  That’s just human nature.  But we don’t move on.  We’re not satisfied.  We keep watching, year after year, hoping for the next form of greatness. 


I am a die-hard fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Redskins, who have not won a championship since 1988 and 1991, respectively.  I have grown accustomed to the phrase “well, there’s always next year.”  But this does not apply to winning a horse racing Triple Crown.  The World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Championship, and Stanley Cup all have something in common that is different.  Someone wins them every year.  They are routine.  Although my team may not win, there are fans in the sport that get to rejoice with feelings of joy and euphoria that their team is the best.


So, what does a triple crown mean to me?  It will be my first experience of something immortal.  It will be my own personal reference for which all future feats of greatness are judged.  It will be an everlasting memory of something that I will associate with the pinnacle of the extraordinary.


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Older Comments about What a Triple Crown Winner Would Mean to Me....

Great job, Matt. And thanks for pointing out what I try to make my non-racing fan friends understand: The Triple Crown is the hardest championship to win in sports. I ask them to imagine the Super Bowl as a 3 game event in which one team has to win all three games or no one gets the Lombardi Trophy. and that's only 1 of many factors that makes the TC so extraordinary.
These memories NEVER fade, not for a moment.....As I have one of Red`s shoes on the wall right near my desk. To expereince greatness NEVER goes out of style
Most people have no idea of the significance of what they expereince. I never say Secretariat race ither but vowed to expereince him one and one and did twice at Claiborne. Was at the finish line to watch and potograph the very fisrt Breeder`s CUp race with Chief Crown over Tanks Prospect and Spend A Buck
Great job, Matt! Like Brian, I love the first paragraph, but I also love the opening paragraph, too, because I feel the same way about never having seen a Triple Crown but getting to hear about the winners of the 70s.
Now being 50 years old I never been a part of any big sporting event. I never gone to a World Series game. I never been to an NBA finals. Never witnessed a Stanley Cup Finals or Super Bowl. I grew up loving sports and watched many great moments on television. The only chance I have ever had of any significance has been the attempt of Triple Crown. There have been 11 failed attempts and I have witnessed at Belmont Park eight of them. It first started with my long time favorite Sunday Silence. Dreams of having a possible Secretariat sharing moment died before the top of stretch. Once Easy Goer launched his move , I knew the race was over. Eight years later I was back with a new found favorite, Silver Charm. The rush of a potential TC win vanished just yards of the wire. Even though I didn't have any rooting interest with them throughout the Triple Crown , Charismatic ,Smarty Jones,War Emblem,Big Brown, Real Quiet and Funny Cide were all tough beats. Charismatic was a sad defeat. Big Brown was just mind boggling as well as Smarty Jones. War Emblem as anti-climatic as stumbled out of the gate. Real Quiet was just a fantastic race with such changes of emotion. A large crowd cheering on what appeared to be a Champion before our eyes only to be dashed with the help of a photo. It was that close to call. Now we're at it again. This time for the third time a horse I been rooting for. At 43-1 the minute the Robert Lewis race was over I was convinced I have found the Derby winner. I fell in love in how he positioned himself in such a perfect spot stalking fast fractions and easily gliding to victory. It wasn't just the time he posted but visually he looked so good. I would tell my friends and co-workers that this is the horse. I went all out in the Kentucky Derby Future Pools 2 ,3 and during Kentucky Derby weekend. If I could have found future bet for a TC winner I would have bet that too. Beyer figures, post positions and etc. couldn't talk me out of this horse.The rest is history. He easily became finally a the new successor to the late Sunday Silence. Now all I ask is for is the luck of the racing Gods because he's got composure, talent and breeding to complete this achievement. Finally come this Saturday when they turn for home no one will be pulling harder for I''ll Have Another from his third floor seat than this believing fan.
Love the last paragraph, Matt ... that's what it's all about!

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Meet Matt Scott 

My horseracing journey began when I was 16 years old and my mom took me to Hollywood Park. Although I did not fully appreciate it at the time, the experience stuck with me forever. 10 years later, during one of my many international business trips to Hong Kong, I visited Sha Tin racetrack to watch the races. This is where my true passion began. 


Holding a masters degree in mechanical engineering, the puzzle of handicapping intrigued me. I have made a career of making decisions based on trends, patterns, and formulas, which is why I think I was initially drawn to the sport. However, I have truly learned to appreciate the horses and how magnificent they are as athletes. 


I currently live in San Jose, CA, and when not following racing, I like to spend time with my wife, mountain bike, and design high-speed bicycles that I build and race For reference, 55,000 furlongs is the distance from Hong Kong to my home in San Jose. Also, I have 1-year-old dachshund (aka wiener dog) that I am training to race in the annual Wiener Nationals held at Golden Gate Fields.   


The purpose of this blog is to help give people the viewpoint of a fan that is newer to the sport and eager to learn. I like to respectfully speak my mind, and often the ideas come out of left field, which could give a fresh perspective on a sport rich with tradition and history. hope to represent the many future fans that I wish to follow my footsteps into the Sport of Kings. 

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