Post Smarty Depression
That was Ken Rudolph’s term, while covering the races yesterday at Hollywood Park, as the public address director played the blues over the sound system all afternoon. Pat Forde’s depressed too, and wants the Triple Crown system changed. Does it have to be that tough? (Yes, I think it does).
Joe Drape thinks everything is hunky dory, and argues that Jockeys Solis and Bailey served their function as “gatekeepers of greatness” by sacrificing their horses in premature challenges to Smarty Jones. Funny, if I owned Rock Hard Ten or Eddington, I’d rather have my horse ridden so he might have a chance at getting the distance. I’d have fired them – or the trainer if they were just riding to the trainer’s orders – on the spot (harupmh harumph).
I agree with the views of trainer Bobby Frankel – Smarty would blow the doors off of Birdstone with the benefit of a month’s recuperation – and writer Gary West, who gets the last word: “This Triple Crown was all about Smarty Jones. Charismatic and seemingly indomitable, he proved vastly superior to his rivals. As it turned out, however, not even Smarty Jones was superior to the demands of the Triple Crown. But he didn’t devalue himself in defeat. He’s still the most exciting and talented 3-year-old to come along in years. So don’t litter the countryside with what-ifs; instead, plant a few what-nows.”
Exactly. I can’t wait to see “Little Red” run again. The hype may die down (good), but this horse’s greatness is still in the making.