AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHH! So near and yet so far! I had gotten really excited at the prospect of seeing the first thoroughbred in 34 years win the Triple Crown. I'll Have Another is that good!

He was the best shot we've had in a long time. My years-in-the-making apathy toward the sport of kings was about to come to an end.

But then, it happened. News came that I'll Have Another is suffering from tendinitis and has been scratched from the Belmont Stakes.

Woe is me, yes. But I don't matter. Woe is thoroughbred racing. I feel it has been losing more and more of its cache as every year that we don't have a Triple Crown winner passes.

That rare and extraordinary achievement is easily the most exciting possibility the sport has to offer.

Yes, the Kentucky Derby will always be the most prestigious single race a horse can win, but nabbing all three victories puts a thoroughbred in rarified air. It's kind of like the national championship of horse racing, except that it doesn't happen every year.

Boy, is that an understatement.

When I was a kid, the races were huge events in our household. That's because we had three Triple Crown winners in the 70s. And I remember them all--Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed.

Then the well dried up. And, I'll Have Another was the horse that was going to fill it back up. Oh well, there's always next year.

Or the year after that, or the year after that, or the year after that...