The much-anticipated virtual race, ‘The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown’, will take place on Saturday, May 2 on NBC. In the greatest field ever assembled, 13 Triple Crown winners will go postward in a computer-simulated event at Churchill Downs to help settle the debate as to which immortal horse was the best of all time.
My virtual wagering will be centered on cashing in on a superfecta ticket, which is as daunting of a task as it sounds. I will start on the top using only a pair of runners. The mighty Secretariat and the powerful Citation will lead the way.
It seems more than logical that one of these two will win the race and the other could very well be second, but I will leave a bit of room for error in the odd case that one of the duo fails to fire his best shot in this sublime cast.
And I have four additional horses of interest for my Superfecta ticket.
I was not yet born in the early 1940’s, but history tells me that Count Fleet was as dominant a 3-year-old as any in history. The Reigh Count colt demolished his Triple Crown foes by a combined 36 lengths, with a 25-length tour-de-force in the Belmont topping his accomplishments. Sadly, the run over “Big Sandy” was the final race for Count Fleet. But his dominance can’t be overlooked.
If I knew for certain that Whirlaway would run a straight line as opposed to bolting to the far rail during the race, then “Mr. Longtail” would be a key of mine in all rungs of the exotics. The 1941 Preakness victory by the son of Blenheim II, when he lost touch with the field early before passing his foes with the greatest of ease en route to a sizable score, remains one of my favorite all-time Triple Crown races.
I’m of the thinking that American Pharoah could have walked on proverbial water when at his best. The son of Pioneerof the Nile ran one of the lesser races of his lifetime in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and he still won in measured fashion. His Haskell Invitational (G1) performance that summer, when he was geared down for virtually the entire stretch run, will be forever etched in my mind. And my gut tells me that we never got the chance to see the best of ‘Pharoah.
As I continually watch replays of Affirmed, I become invigorated by his tenacity. The 1978 Triple Crown star had something that simply can’t be measured — heart. The son of Exclusive Native lacked the panache of most Triple Crown winners, and he was often on his wrong lead, but there is not a horse in the virtual field that would want to eyeball this colt at any point in a race. His determination alone should land him in the top half of the field.
Triple Crown Showdown Superfecta
$1 Superfecta Ticket ($72)
- 1st: Secretariat, Citation
- 2nd: Secretariat, Citation, Whirlaway, Count Fleet
- 3rd: Secretariat, Citation, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, American Pharoah, Affirmed
- 4th: Secretariat, Citation, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, American Pharoah, Affirmed
- Win or lose — this would undoubtedly be my favorite wager of all time!