Should the Triple Crown Be Changed? Industry Members Weigh In


Should the Triple Crown schedule be changed? Chad Brown and Mike Smith weigh in | Sarah Andrew

After the connections of GI Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) opted to skip the GI Preakness S. and instead prepare for the GI Belmont S., the structure of the Triple Crown races has been a subject of debate leading up to the second leg of the historic series. Should the timing between the races be adjusted? We asked a few industry participants here.


Chad Brown:

I wouldn't change anything. I'm always an advocate of preserving the history of the sport. It would take a lot for me to want to change certain things.

Once in a while some things arise that should be considered with a changing world and a changing industry. It's not that I'm not flexible or not open to changes in general, but when it comes to some of the most historic tellers of the sport, when you're talking about the Triple Crown, it would take a lot for me to consider changing it. I understand that it's a changing breed and a changing industry, but the Triple Crown is pretty far up the metaphorical food chain of stuff that you mess with.

[Asked if two weeks between Derby and Preakness hurts Preakness field size] In some years, yeah, you could argue that. But in other years, it hasn't. The highest priority for me is always the safety of the horses. You're talking to someone who has skipped the Preakness so it might be easy for me to say. But I have run back in the Preakness, like with Good Magic, and in other years I didn't think it was the right thing to do. It depends on the horse. I just wouldn't support changing it.


Mike Smith:

I'm old-fashioned, so I'll say no, they should not change anything. The way it is now is what makes it so hard to do. If you change anything to make it easier, all of a sudden when you get a Triple Crown winner you're going to wonder if they are as good as the original Triple Crown horses.

I see no need to change it. To me, the timing is fine. They talked about changing it before I was blessed to have won it and I was hoping they didn't. If they changed it, I don't think it would be fair to compare a Triple Crown winner to Justify (Scat Daddy) or any of the other Triple Crown winners.

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