With interest in horse racing as high as it has been in a long time (thanks, controversy!), the sport’s next big race is very un-interesting.
Horse racing’s two biggest stars at the moment — Maximum Security and Country House — will both skip the second leg of the Triple Crown, each for different reasons. Maximum Security sees no reason to rush into another race without a Triple Crown on the line, while Country House’s owner announced Tuesday that Country House has a cough and will sit out the Preakness Stakes.
Now I know very little about owning, training, riding or being a horse, so I will be careful with my criticism here…. but a cough? Country House is skipping the Preakness over a cough? How can the Derby winner bail on the Preakness over something a little NyQuil and a good nap during a Netflix marathon will easily cure? Forgive me for calling a thoroughbred horse soft but the Derby winner has to run in the Preakness. It’s like a rule I think. He owes it to the game. Champion horses run. They don’t take a sick day.
But no, Country House bowed out of its Triple Crown chase with a cold. With everyone eager to see how Country House will run in a follow-up to its controversial Derby win, Preakness fans instead get (insert the name of the other horses because I don’t know any other horses). Country House isn’t taking a chance. No flu game for the Derby winner. Not even going to attempt a ’97 Michael Jordan Game 5 performance.
And now nobody cares about the Preakness. If either Maximum Security or Country House were running, the casual observer would tune in to see how they respond. With neither making the trip to Pimlico, I can think of a billion other things to do on Saturday, May 18 at 6:48 p.m.
Good for Country House on the victory though. I’m still a fan, I completely agreed with the objection, and I can’t hate on the lifetime of horse sex he has ahead of him. So much horse sex in his future. It’s just too bad he won’t even attempt the Triple Crown. Horse racing had a huge opportunity and a horse cough will destroy its ratings and public interest in two Saturdays.
Maybe we’ll get Maximum Security’s redemption run at the Belmont? What about a 1-on-1 at Churchill Downs on pay-per-view?
(Editor’s note: I’m kind of kidding about the cough because I don’t know what I am talking about but I am all the way serious about the Preakness sucking now and about all of the Country House sex.)