The 72-hour period surrounding last week’s 139th running of the Preakness Stakes was interesting for many reasons, but the respective tales of two horses provided the most compelling news.
The Kentucky Derby winner who has quickly become a “people’s horse” with his easy victory at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May pulled out of town on Monday morning, bound for a new challenge over a new track that could add further allure to his expanding public profile.
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.
The 2011 Triple Crown season ended last week with a running of the Belmont Stakes won by a 3-year-old that was the right horse on the day, but few aside from his owner and trainer could envision the victorious Ruler On Ice being a major factor in key events later in the year.