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36 years of near misses at Belmont Park
Old 06-07-2014, 11:03 AM   #1
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36 years of near misses at Belmont Park

It's fascinating to read about all of the thoroughbreds who have needed a win at the Belmont Stakes to complete the Triple Crown, only to fall short. Are there any that stick out in your mind as being exceptionally heart-breaking? Here are three that strike me as memorable.

1. Spectacular Bid, 1979. All accounts of Spectacular Bid attest to his greatness. He didn't just win races - he set track records while doing so. But he was in an almost no-win situation. He would have been the third straight Triple Crown winner, so even if he had won he wouldn't have gotten the same level of adulation that would come after a 36 year drought.

2. Real Quiet, 1996. Lost a photo finish to Victory Gallop after leading by five lengths going into the home stretch. Real Quiet was the best horse that day over 1.49 miles, but not, unfortunately, over the full 1.5 mile track.

3. Charismatic, 1999. Was leading in the final furlong, only to break his leg in two places. He still manged to finish third, and luckily the injury wasn't life threatening.

Triple Crown: The dozen who failed 'Race of a Champion'

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Old 06-07-2014, 11:19 AM   #2
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FWIW, Belmont has long had stricter drug testing than do the other tracks.

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Old 06-08-2014, 11:10 AM   #3
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The drought of Triple Crown winners continues. Not only did California Chrome fail to win, he didn't even lose in a particularly memorable way. I thought the jockey ran a smart race, staying in position to win. But CC simply didn't have enough speed to catch the other horses at the end. All in all, a rather forgettable Belmont Stakes.

I also thought CC's owner would have been better advised to keep his mouth shut after the race. Perhaps he made some valid points, but so what? Airing your gripes after a historic run where your horse made you millions of dollars is not exactly the best way to exit gracefully.
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