Well, Big Brown couldn’t deliver after all.
The horse’s letdown today at the Belmont Stakes ensured there won’t be a Triple Crown for at least another year.
What is it with our infatuation over the Triple Crown anyway?
Every year we talk about it, but horse racing hasn’t seen a Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Affirmed (ridden by Steve Cauthen) pulled off the feat a year after Seattle Slew (ridden by Jean Cruguet) went for the three-peat.
This was supposed to be the day the Triple Crown came galloping home by a landslide.
Instead of a runaway, Saturday’s race turned into a throwaway once Big Brown pulled up down the stretch.
But I digress … Let’s talk about an actual sport.
Major League Baseball has been in a nice little Triple Crown dry spell of its own the past 40 years.
Carl Yastrzemski last won the Triple Crown in 1967 for the Red Sox when Yaz hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI.
And like Affirmed, Yaz was preceded a year earlier by Frank Robinson, who won the Triple Crown with Baltimore after hitting .316 with 49 homers and 122 RBI.
The National League hasn’t had a Triple Crown winner since good ol’ Joe Medwick (St. Louis) way back in 1937.
In fact, the only NL Triple Crown winner with a big name is Roger Hornsby, who won it in 1922 and 1925 for St. Louis.
The AL’s Triple Crown list, however, is littered with Hall of Famers. Ty Cobb won the Triple Crown in 1909 despite hitting only nine homers. Jimmie Foxx (1933), Lou Gehrig (1934), Ted Williams (1942, ’47) and Mickey Mantle (1956) also pulled off the trifecta.
The West Coast, however, is still looking for its first Triple Crown winner, so you’re not alone there Big Brown.