The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner finished in a dead-heat for fourth with Wicked Strong. California Chrome’s loss extended the longest drought without a Triple Crown champion.
Three tough races in five weeks proved too demanding for California Chrome, who was sent off as the heavy 4-5 favourite by tens of thousands packed into Belmont Park on an 80-degree day, hoping to see history. Affirmed remains the most recent Triple Crown winner in 1978.
The raucous crowd was silenced when it became obvious that California Chrome lacked his usual punch in the stretch. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
The Belmont divides myth from legendThe pursuit of U.S. thoroughbred horse racing’s Triple Crown has become so mythological that it might as well be contested by unicorns. A single thoroughbred possessed of all the necessary attributes, and smiled upon by all the necessary racing luck, hasn’t been seen in 35 years. If you take into account the 25-year gap between Citation in 1948 and Secretariat in 1973, there have been three Triple Crown winners in the last 65 years.
If you are of a certain age and were curious enough about these horses racing on your TV, the six years that spawned Secretariat, Seattle Slew and the indescribable three-race battle between Affirmed and Alydar in 1978, will have embedded a love of horse racing on your soul. The magnificence of the horse in full stride, the distilled purity of those 110 to 150 seconds while the race is afoot. Every May and June since, Triple Crown Saturdays have been about hoping to capture that feeling of awe and achievement again.
Exercise rider Willie Delgado takes Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome over the track in preparation for the 139th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 15, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
You can make the same old boring picks for your final four in the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball tournament — all the No. 1 seeds, those teams that used to win when you were in university. You can scour the internet for the latest analytics. But do you really want to invest that much time in it? No.
Let us be your guide today inside the brackets. We can guarantee almost none of this will be helpful, and we simply hope it puts a little panache in your picks. (Click to enlarge.)
To start, here are some adorable puppies with their favourite teams in this year’s tournament.
Look, we’ve been to golf tournaments before. It’s not like on television, where production crews cut from hole to hole to bring you every important shot. When you go to a golf tournament in person, there’s time to look around, take in the vistas, especially if you’re on a beautiful course like Innisbrook outside Tampa, Fla.
This week at the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook, photographer Sam Greenwood has been looking around, taking in the vistas. Why Getty Images has moved these photos out on the wire, we can’t say. But for a change of pace from the regular sports fare, we present some of Greenwood’s gorgeous wildlife photos here. (Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Meet Hank the Dog: Milwaukee Brewers mascot, Hank, at the team’s spring training baseball practice in Phoenix. The team has unofficially adopted the dog and assigned the name “Hank” after baseball great Hank Aaron. Click through for more photos. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
“We tried to pet him, and it was kind of hard,” she said. “But, in the end, he came closer to us, and we pet him.”
They also gave it a name: “That’s our little Honey.”
The fate of Honey, and also of the untold number of strays roaming in Olympic territory, has emerged as an unlikely talking point heading to the Opening Ceremony this week in Sochi. Reports of a dog cull — one that possibly involves poison — have drawn attention from locals as well as from international activists.
Officials have downplayed the notion of a cull. One online petition has so far generated a modest response. The fate of the dogs remains unclear, while anecdotal evidence suggests their numbers have decreased as the volume of Olympic visitors to the city increases. (Photo: Kirill Kudryatsev/AFP/Getty Images)
Game, set, match, love. Love is what it is and what it should be for Canadians since love is what it has been for tennis fans unlucky enough to be baking away in the unbearable Melbourne heat at the Australian Open, but fortunate enough to be witnessing the birth of a Canadian women’s tennis legend.
To be following her around, awestruck and smitten, wearing their white, “Genie Army” T-shirts, with the red maple leaf and her name on the front, while cheering her every shot. Cheering. And groaning.
Oh, yes, dying just a little on the inside when Genie Bouchard, the Montreal-born object of their tennis-fan affections, took a softball question from a reporter about who her dream date would be — after beating Ana Ivanovic Tuesday to secure a semi-final berth — and smashed it back with a resounding ouch by answering, “Justin Bieber.”
The crowd roared. (Photo: AFP Photo/Fiona Hamilton/Tennis Australia)
Today in dog sports: A Papillon jumps through a hoop during a press event at Madison Square Garden, January 15, 2014 to promote the First-ever Masters Agility Championship at the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Dogs entered in the Agility trial will be on hand to demonstrate skills required to negotiate some of the challenging obstacles that they will need to negotiate on Saturday, February 8. (Photo: Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images)