I thought I would put horse racing in the starting gate with the new Triple Crown schedule in 2020. The Kentucky Derby, which was to be run on May 2 has been moved to September 5. The Kentucky Derby was always the first leg of the Triple Crown and now becomes the second leg. The Preakness, the normal second leg, was scheduled for May 16, and has been moved to October 3. The move to October makes the Preakness the last leg of the Triple Crown. The Belmont will become the first leg of the Triple Crown on June 20 when it’s normally the last leg.
The Belmont is by far the toughest of the three races to win because of the distance. The Belmont normally is a mile and a half, a true test of endurance for a horse. There is a reason it’s called the “Test of the Champion.” The Belmont distance this season has been shortened to a mile and an eighth.
The Belmont made the right choice changing the distance. It would be awful tough for the 3-year-old horses to go a mile and a half. The horses normally would have the Kentucky Derby and Preakness races as tune ups to go the extra distance in the Belmont.
What makes the Triple Crown tough to win for horses is the fact that all three races are run in a five-week time span. The Triple Crown in 2020 will be run in a five month time span. I can tell you, a 3-year-old horse in May is not the same as a 3-year-old horse in September and October. The maturity and growth of a horse in that five month time frame can be tremendous. I will confidently state right now there will not be a Triple Crown winner in 2020.
I have to be honest, I hope I am wrong, as nothing is better for the horse industry than a Triple Crown winner. The Belmont will
be run without spectators, which I anticipated would happen. I will break down the race and give you a few horses to bet on when we get closer to race day.
Why does it seem every week lately there is a passing of a sports legend? This week the passing of Eddie Sutton at age 84 is sad news. I just wrote a piece on Eddie less than two months ago on his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Eddie Sutton, the winner of 806 college basketball games, was to go into the Hall of Fame this August. Eddie coached for over 50 years, which is incredible to me. Eddie Sutton was the first to take four different NCAA teams to the NCAA Tournament. He was mostly known for his coaching at Kentucky and Oklahoma State. Eddie’s tenure at Kentucky was rocky and turbulent with NCAA investigations ending up in sanctions against the school.
The last 16 years of his career on the bench were spent at Oklahoma State — his alma mater. Eddie Sutton revived basketball at Oklahoma State arriving in 1990. The Cowboys went to the Final Four in 1995 and 2004 under Eddie. The ultimate honor came in 2005 when Oklahoma State named their basketball court Eddie Sutton Court. RIP Mr. Eddie Sutton.
The death of Utah Jazz ex-coach Jerry Sloan was another passing of a great NBA coach. Jerry Sloan spent 23 years on the Utah Jazz bench taking them to two NBA Finals against Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. The Jazz lost in 1997 and 1998 to the Bulls. The Jerry Sloan team of John Stockton and Karl Malone were awesome. RIP Jerry Sloan.
I hope everyone had a safe Memorial Day weekend during these trying times. I want to personally thank all of the veterans who served this great country. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.