For those of you waiting to see if there will be a Triple Crown winner in your lifetime, keep waiting. Superman (or in this case Superhorse) has run into kryptonite. Again another horse with a chance to win the Triple Crown for the first time since Jimmy Carter was in the White House has failed.
Big Brown, named for the Atlanta-based shipping company UPS, was the odds on favorite to win the 140th Belmont Stakes this afternoon. All eyes were on him and a lot of money was bet on him. Some days, you are the bug. Some days, you are the windshield. Today, Big Brown was the bug.
Finishing last at Belmont, he never could get it going, staying in the hunt in third until the end. 38-1 long shot Da' Tara, who led wire-to-wire, was the winner. Was it the hoof that had the crack in it giving him trouble? I'm not sure and after talking to my 18-year old god-daughter, a new high school graduate and a huge horse junkie, she can't put a finger on it, either. It would have been a wonderful graduation present for her, since she has never seen a Triple Crown winner.
It will be at least another year or so before we see another Triple Crown winner. From the time Affirmed won the last Triple Crown, America has seen five presidents, the world has seen three popes and the price of gas go through the roof.
As badly as I wanted him to win and as most Americans wanted it, Big Brown didn't have his A game today. There's always the Breeders' Cup and then off to a stud farm, where he will be in high demand.
The spirit of Affirmed can rest easy for now in horse heaven. I can say this: if Affirmed were a human being, he would be opening a bottle of champange, like the 73 Dolphins.
You gave it your best, Brownie. Now get yourself healthy for the Breeders' Cup.