It has been a generation since Secretariat soared into the homestretch a stunning 31 lengths ahead of his closest challenger in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.
Four years later, Seattle Slew ignited “Slewmania” by becoming the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes while undefeated.
And in 1978, Affirmed’s dominance of the classics electrified the nation, his Triple Crown enhanced by the presence of legendary rival Alydar.
Now, 36 years have elapsed since any thoroughbred has scored the elusive Derby-Preakness-Belmont sweep. In Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, California Chrome will have to outrun not only 10 rivals but history, too, to win the race known as the “test of champions.”
“I think, looking today, this horse has the best chance,” said Patrice Wolfson, who co-owned Affirmed. “He just has something special.’’
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