Ever since Affirmed in the 1978, racing fans wondered when the next 3-year-old would sweep horse racing's elusive Triple Crown. The latest colt prompting such speculation was Uncle Mo, who has since gone to the sidelines.
But when Animal Kingdom rolled to an emphatic victory in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, he reignited the Triple Crown talk. Better still, the Team Valor International homebred has the profile to get the job done.
The Triple Crown has been exceptionally difficult to win. Only 11 have done so since Sir Barton first did so in 1919. Some of the sport's most outstanding champions have come up short, confounded by a plethora of pitfalls -- whether bad racing luck, ill-timed injuries, lack of stamina, or just the physical grind itself that takes a toll.