Category: Horse Sense
Historic Saratoga in Upstate New York has a reputation for shabby treatment of favorites in its major races, and nothing that happened last weekend at the track known to its admirers as “The Spa” diminished that reputation.
The “Girl Power” era that has produced an unprecedented three-year run of “Horse of the Year” honors for Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta and Havre de Grace has continued its roll this year, with big performances in recent days by both equine and human racing stars.
As the 2011 racing season rolls into its second half, the spotlight on the sport from the Triple Crown run is fading and the primary players of that three-race saga have either departed the stage or are hanging somewhere in the wings.
On a night at Churchill Downs during which the 31st running of the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap and its collection of many of the top older racing stars in America seemed a clear centerpiece, a lady who was not a part of the Foster’s illustrious cast stole the show.
The end of the Triple Crown season has long been a time of transition, while also being one of frustration for a run that is now destined to cover a stretch of at least 35 years.
As the days until the June 9 Belmont Stakes dwindle quickly, the world of Thoroughbred racing and a growing number of observers and fans outside the sport are focusing on Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another and his bid to snap a 34-year string of Triple Crown frustration.