Yesterday's Belmont Stakes caused some controversy because 3 of the top finishers had not run the Derby or Preakness. This caused quite an outburst from California Chrome's owner that a horse should be required to run all three races. I agree with him. This is horse racing's premier event, like a playoff of sorts. You should not be allowed a bye for the first two rounds.
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I agree that it would be hard on the horses, that's why I would make it 3 or maybe 4 weeks between the races. If the various racing associations moved to synthetic tracks, injuries would be prevented anyway.