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Best three minutes I've had in years

On Saturday American Pharoah (yes, that's really how you spell it) became the first horse in 37 years -- and only the 12th in history -- to win the Triple Crown. (If you really couldn't care less about horse racing, you might want to skip the rest of this because I'm about to squee like a horse-crazy little girl!)


First won by Sir Barton in 1919, The Triple Crown* is American thoroughbred racing's greatest feat: three races (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont) in five weeks with the last one, at a mile and a half, the longest and most difficult. As a kid I had all the winners memorized, their names like a roll of drums and trumpets: Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet... I remember holding my breath watching Secretariat back in 1973 when he broke a 25-year drought, and then Seattle Slew just four years later.

And then nothing. For DECADES. A few times someone came close but it had been so long that there was actually talk of changing the requirements, an uneasy suspicion that thoroughbreds had been so intensely bred for speed that they were too fragile to hold up to three races in five weeks, never mind that grueling mile and a half length of the last one. When American Pharoah won the Derby last month and then the Preakness (in a pouring rain), yes, there were hopes -- but we were all used to disappointment.

So when he took the lead right from the gate yesterday, I was so excited I could hardly speak coherently; I yelled, I screamed, I jumped up and down, and yes, I cried as he came sweeping up to the wire like he had wings. He didn't just make it look easy, he made it look inevitable.

A friend of mine, who knows a bit about thoroughbred racing, did a lovely post about what it means to the horse racing world, and even the relatively staid New York Times let a bit of excitement show through.

So yeah, this totally made my weekend :)

* I speak here of the US version; England, Ireland, Canada and many other countries have their own, equally challenging, Triple Crowns.


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Jun. 8th, 2015 09:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting that. I had to work Saturday and didn't get to watch the race.

That was EXCITING!!
Jun. 12th, 2015 10:18 pm (UTC)
I know, right??!? Just so cool...
Jun. 8th, 2015 09:47 am (UTC)
I'm ignorant about the topic but I can undertand the fact of being jubilant about something. I can understand how exited you were.
Jun. 12th, 2015 10:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for being excited about my excitement :)
Jun. 8th, 2015 11:06 am (UTC)
I kind of wish that I had known before the Kentucky Derby that a horse named American Pharaoh was racing. I could have made a tidy bundle. No, I know nothing whatever about horse racing. But I know nothing about football either, yet do better than people who do know all about football in betting pools. How do I do this? By the name of the teams. I picture their mascots fighting it out, and the one that emerges the winner in my imaginary battle is the one I vote for. For instance, if the Eagles were playing the Ravens, I would have to go with the Eagles because they are the bigger, fiercer bird and would tear apart the raven and eat him before you could blink. Giants and Patriots? Well, the patriots would have their muskets, but they would probably only succeed in making the giant angry, and it would squash the patriot before he could reload or run. See? Yeah, I know it sounds stupid, but you'd be surprised how often this works.

What does this have to do with the horse race? Well, I'm a big Egyptology geek -- have been since I was a kid. I would have bet on American Pharaoh to win the triple crown from the get-go, if I had known that a horse with that name was a contender. Ah, well....
Jun. 12th, 2015 10:20 pm (UTC)
Aw, that is too bad! When I bet (which isn't often) I usually do it based on some kind of personal idea, opinion, connection etc. So far it hasn't brought in the big bucks, but it does make it more fun :)
Jun. 8th, 2015 09:58 pm (UTC)
Yep we got Triple Crowns in a bunch of sports and even pro wrestling. Nice to learn that is your sporting interest so thanks for sharing. Glad you've been on the reading lust from your other posts heh. OK now to post my second post-convention report in as many weeks, ta!
Jun. 12th, 2015 10:21 pm (UTC)
I read your con report -- sounds like you were a busy and entertained person!

Edit: Oh, and I also see you ate really really well (sushi, yummm)!

Edited at 2015-06-12 10:22 pm (UTC)
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