All the signs pointed to American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown.
But I was tired of seeing signs. I’d seen signs my entire life. And not once in my thirty-two years had they amounted to anything. In short, I was tired. Tired of getting my hopes up only for them to crash and burn. Tired of putting my life on hold for five weeks because this one horse might be The One. I thought Silver Charm was he. And Real Quiet. And Charismatic. Smarty Jones. Big Brown. California Chrome. On and on. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice… three times… thirteen times? How could I possibly believe this time should be any different?
Once you stop wanting something, you get it. Trainer Bob Baffert, who guided three horses through their Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories only to fumble the crown and lose it in the Belmont, seemed to be on the same page. He wasn’t even thinking about the Triple Crown this year. A series of life-altering events seemed to have humbled the white-haired rocker of the racing world. He simply wanted to win one more Kentucky Derby. The Crown was recognized for what it was, a nearly impossible task. Something meant for an earlier, worthier time. Not us in these modern times.