Preakness winner, Lookin' At Lucky's trainer, Bob Baffert announced that his horse would not be running in the Belmont Stakes in two weeks in New York. Instead the bay colt was loaded into a van Sunday to leave Pimlico and head back to Southern California for some rest and to get ready for an August 1st start in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth.
Super Saver, who rode the rail to victory two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby will be going to Belmont, but only to his stable has his training team has also decided to pass on the race at their home track. Trainer Todd Pletcher has decided to give his colt a rest. More than likely Super Saver will be making a return visit to Churchill Downs in November for the Breeder's Cup.
That seems to have taken the luster out of the Belmont Stakes in a few weeks. Yesterday's victory by Lookin' At Lucky guaranteed that there wouldn't be a Triple Crown winner. There have been 11 horses, since Affirmed last won in the Triple Crown in 1978, who have won the first two legs but fell short in the final race. The last horse was Big Ben in 2008.
It is beginning to look like horse racing is a troubled sport trying to gain a share of the recreational sportsman's time and interest. Trainer D. Wayne Lucas
says that another Triple Crown winner will only be a short-term fix, that there are too many other distractions for sports enthusiasts.
Even if Super Saver had won the Preakness Stakes many felt that the attention would have surrounded the jockey and trainer and not the horse. Unlike horses in the past who garnered attention, like Funny Clide, Sunday Silence, and Smarty Jones, Super Saver has not captured the love of the fans.
So now we wait, two more weeks and the 2010 Triple Crown season will be officially over. Horse racing is in its longest drought since the 25 years between Citation in 1948 and Secretariat in 1973. The '70's were a high time for horse racing with Secretariat's astounding wins, along with Seattle Slew in 1977 and then Affirmed a year later and that was it for Triple Crown winners.
The drought continues as does our wait for another horse like Smarty Jones, an Easy Goer or maybe even a Secretariat.