The finish to this year’s Preakness (Patrick Smith (Getty Images))
NYRA Not on Board with Move
These developments have led to added support for changing the spacing of the races. Just last month, Tom Rooney, the president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, penned an editorial calling for the races be spread further apart. “The time has come in Thoroughbred racing for our own change, to modernize the timeline of the Triple Crown,” he wrote.
Turf Talk ed: There was mixed reaction to the news in the comments section below the article, although most agreed it would not be able to be called The Triple Crown if the two gaps between the three races were stretched out.
Two of the comments opposed to the move summed it up well:
Comment 1: (Badgerpluto) Absolutely no foundation for saying this will improve horse safety. It has been perfectly safe for horses to run in the Derby and Preakness for more than a century. 1/ST is willing to destroy the Triple Crown in the mistaken belief they’ll do better business on Preakness Day. Stretch the Derby-Preakness gap to four weeks and the public will have lost interest.
Comment 2: (Tinky)
There is a lot to say about this, but I’ll keep it brief.
It is a glaring example of the damage inflicted by the American racing industry’s greatest, historical mistake, namely the failure to create a centralized oversight body, such as those found in every other major sport. How absurd that one of the three ‘owners’ of the Triple Crown races might consider forcing the hands of the others with a unilateral decision! Only in the racing game might something so stupid happen, yet it would be entirely consistent with previous deep, self-inflicted wounds, such as allowing the iconic racetracks Hialeah, Hollywood, and Arlington, to disappear.