Protecting the Crown

Mr. Flip's Rant

May 12, 2008

Let Mr. Flip piggyback on the suggestion made by his colleague Rick Maese in yesterday's editions about restoring some luster to the Triple Crown by adding a week between the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. His argument is that we would see more Derby horses in Baltimore if they had another week of rest.

Good idea. And how about another one?

You want to run your horse in the Derby? Fine, but you have to pledge a large fee - Mr. Flip doesn't move in horse ownership circles, so he wouldn't know exactly how much - that you'll also run your horse in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. If you don't, you pay the fee.

Now, logically, the fee wouldn't apply to any owner whose horse is legitimately hurt or otherwise unable to run in the other Triple Crown races or doesn't qualify for the smaller fields after the Derby. And the financial incentive wouldn't necessarily influence every owner to run in all three.

But, combined with a longer rest between races, maybe we could get more Derby horses to Baltimore and New York. And that can only be a good thing for the sport.

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