Walking into a sixth-grade dance

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The rain has come and gone. The sun’s creeping through the clouds. It’s down to hours. And, yes, I feel like I’m walking into a sixth grade dance, waiting to be jettisoned by the likes of Kate Klingeburg, Amy Cotton and Carolyn Heaton. Oh, how, they broke my heart. But, still I walk in believing in free love.

Welcome to horse racing.

This year, we arrive yet again with a Triple Crown on the line. This is not Funny Cide, Smarty Jones or California Chrome, when once-in-a-lifetime horses and horsemen had their moment. Have any of their connections competed in another Triple Crown race? Check the history department.

No, this year, it’s Bob Baffert and Zayat Stable, polarizing figures in a game that can easily polarize. They’ve been here before and will be here again. American Pharoah couldn’t pick who he brought with him. You can’t question the horse, he’s shown mind and body for greatness. Today, he puts mind and body into the fire, a fire that has snuffed out better horses and better stories.

Great story, no. Great horse, maybe. 

If he wins, I’ll appreciate the moment, the thrill of seeing history. If he loses, I’ll appreciate the game, the ultimate goalkeeper.