Will the Prince become a King?
Churchill Downs. Pimlico. Belmont. The three tracks whose annual races make up the Triple Crown. California Chrome’s already won the first two, with Belmont in his sights. History won’t favor him though: no horse has won the Triple Crown since Affirmed did it 36 years ago. Luckily for the prized colt, the Belmont Stakes approved his nasal strip, which opens up the nasal canal, allowing a horse to breathe easier. However, a new challenge now faces California Chrome, as well as his opponents: rain and mud.
For humans, it’s common sense that it’d be easier to run on dry dirt as opposed to mud. The same holds true for horses. So the preliminary forecast for race day (June 7th) says that it will rain. This might pose a problem for California Chrome. Mud would mean that the dirt track would become unstable ground to run on and that might make it hard on the horses. Also, running in mud involves kicking up mud in your wake. Will that be a problem at Belmont?
The main concern that people have regarding this news is how California Chrome will react. The problem? California Chrome has never raced on a wet track, and the colt’s practices on wet tracks in the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness impressed no one. In the wake of winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in ideal conditions, could it be the case that California Chrome has become a prima donna? Is California Chrome a diva that expects to only run in perfect conditions?
No matter what happens at Belmont, California Chrome will need to snap out of whatever dream he may be in and realize that he’ll have to do something he’s never done before, and that’s win the longest of the three major races (maybe in mud, if the weather.com forecast of scattered thunderstorms holds true) if he hopes to make history and win the Triple Crown. You want to live forever? California Chrome had better wake up and realize that, come race day, the prince’s crown won’t necessarily be on straight, and he’s the only one who can fix it.