A Fairy Tale Loss…

courtesy: Boston Globe

I’m going to tell you why California Chrome’s loss is the perfect ending to a Working Man’s Anthem…

Mainly because he lost….

It amazes me that people are surprised. It doesn’t amaze me that people are disappointed.

That’s because I along with the majority of my friends, deal with this type of disappointment on a weekly basis. You are probably thinking, “Really? How in the world can you compare losing the Triple Crown to not winning or placing at a barrel race or rodeo?” The fact is that it doesn’t matter what the competition is. If you entered you were more than likely (and I say that lightly) wanting to win and when you don’t, it’s heartbreaking.

Courtesy: Associated Press

The fact is that this horse, California Chrome, is an amazing athlete. In a write up, it was said that he could win no matter what position you put him in. Wow… now that’s a standard to put a living being up to. When reading this along with the hundreds of Facebook posts of people saying he was going to win, I couldn’t help but cringe. Call me superstitious, but I think saying a horse is going to win is a death wish. Too many things can go wrong that are 100% out of our control. Just one for example, Chrome getting stepped on out of the gate. That one wrong step, the post position, the way he broke, the fact that he was boxed in late in the race…. It all matters… and the fact is that he was running against other amazing athletes.

I’m not entirely sure that there will ever be another Triple Crown winner. I’ve never seen one. The last one that ever completed the feat was three years before I was born. I don’t say this lightly, I just don’t believe that Super Horses like Secretariat, Affirmed, Seattle Slew, or Scamper will ever exist again. The technology that we have today is too good. We can make good horses, great horses, and we can make great horses, phenomenal horses and with that being said, that means that the playing field is more even than it has ever been.

But let’s get back to the loss. This horse came from humble beginnings, note I said humble, and not some other type of adjective. People keep saying that California Chrome’s life is a great story because it shows that money isn’t everything. I don’t think this statement could be any further from the truth. Fact is that although millions may not have been spent on Chrome, a good fat chunk of change was in fact spent on him. Anyone believing differently is a fool and may want to look into the cost of training and maintaining a race horse. Yesterday I watched a video that showed where Chrome was bred and raised and I would have to say that it looked like a palace compared to the paneled stalls, some with no shelters, that most people in California have their horses in. Steve Coburn in telling his story said that he had spent his savings and his retirement on this horse and they were about to have to “start making some decisions” when Chrome started to win. The fact is that Coburn and his partner took a chance, a huge fat chance to follow their dream of what this life should include, and apparently a winning horse was part of that dream.

If everything would have worked out the way that everyone wanted, Chrome would have won the Belmont Stakes and would have sealed the deal for the Triple Crown. It would have been a Fairy Tale Ending to a Working Man’s Anthem. But Fairy Tales are not real, unlike a Working Man’s Anthem. This is why the two don’t go together. I may sound cynical but this is the reality of it. I’m not saying the rich people always get the Fairy Tale Ending, what I’m saying is that Fairy Tale Endings do not exist. Chrome is an amazing horse, still to this day, Triple Crown or not, Belmont Stakes or not, he still is a horse that will go down in the books as a major threat to this almost unattainable thing called the Triple Crown. So just like a working man, he will probably have some time off and then he will go back to work and in that,  I think he is more of an inspiration to me than any Triple Crown winner any day!

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