Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Greatness for Its Own Sake: What makes the Triple Crown different from any other athletic honor

As a Kentuckian it is hard to avoid horse racing. And it was hard for anybody to avoid the news of this last weekend's Belmont Stakes, in which the Kentucky-bred horse American Pharoah became the first horse in thirty-seven years to win the Triple Crown, having also won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

What makes the Triple Crown different from any other sporting honor. Julia Yost has done about as well as I've seen anyone explain it:
The lack of partisan fandom in racing has something to do with the brevity of its stars’ careers. No sooner have you heard of the three-year-olds that run in the Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont, than they retire to the stud farm. So those of us who wanted to see a Triple Crown this year did not want it because we had grown up cheering for Zayat Stables’ American Pharoah (who was born practically yesterday). We wanted, this year as every year, to behold athletic greatness for its own sake.
Read the rest here.

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