I'll watch if I'm the last one

June, 11, 2011
06/11/11
6:13
PM ET
Editor's note: Kenny used all caps so as to be noticed.

NOT SAYING ESPN THOUGHT LITTLE OF MY HARD WORK THIS WEEK, BUT IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, MY 12 LITTLE VIDEO HITS FOR THE 143RD BELMONT STAKES WERE FOUND UNDER "OTHER SPORTS." HOW WOULD I KNOW? I DON'T EVEN OWN A COMPUTER ANY LONGER. THE LAST FIVE BLEW UP, AND I'M NOT GOING TO SUPPORT A DYING INDUSTRY ANY LONGER.

DID SOMEONE SAY DYING INDUSTRY?

THAT'S WHAT THEY SAY OFTEN ABOUT MY SECOND-FAVORITE SPORT (TO TACKLE FOOTBALL, C'MON).

EACH YEAR, THE LAME STORY IS TROTTED OUT ONCE AGAIN … SADLY … EVEN BY THOSE WHO CLAIM TO FOLLOW THE GAME, THAT HORSE RACING NEEDS A TRIPLE CROWN WINNER SO AS TO SAVE ITSELF.

YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING HOW I AM TYPING THIS IF I DON'T OWN A COMPUTER. I MAKE FAST FRIENDS. FRIENDS FAST. PLUS, THE GIRL WHO REALLY OWNS THIS MACHINE IS A HORSE NUT. SHE'S HERE AT BELMONT PARK. SHE EVEN PUT OUT AND WORE A HAT. THAT'S DEDICATION. HATS ARE MEANT FOR THE KENTUCKY DERBY OR MAYBE THE PREAKNESS, WHEN THERE'S STILL HOPE FOR SAVING THIS SPORT.

BUT NOT NOW. NOT HERE. WITH THE SPLIT OF THE FIRST TWO LEGS (ANIMAL KINGDOM, THEN SHACKLEFORD), THERE AGAIN WOULD NOT BE A TRIPLE CROWN WINNER, AFFIRMED BEING THE LAST TO PULL IT OFF BACK IN 1978.

THING IS, WHETHER THERE HAD BEEN ANOTHER TRIPLE CROWN WINNER THIS YEAR OR NOT, THE ONLY IMPACT AFTER THE FACT WOULD BE THAT TIME MAGAZINE WOULD PUT THE ANIMAL ON ITS COVER. THE U.S. SPORTING PUBLIC WOULD NOT HAVE RUSHED OUT THE DAY AFTER TO THE LOCAL TRACKS, SO INSPIRED OVER THE FEAT.

LIKEWISE, WHEN SUNDAY COMES AROUND, THOSE WHO WERE GOING TO GO ARE GOING TO GO, THOSE WHO WERE GOING TO BET ON THEIR COMPUTERS OR THEIR PHONES OR IN LAS VEGAS ARE GOING TO DO THAT.

THAT IS TO SAY, THE THRILL IS IN THE CHASE. PRETTY MUCH LIKE ANYTHING ELSE.

WITH NO TRIPLE CROWN ON THE LINE SATURDAY AT BELMONT PARK, THE BEST THE RACING PR MACHINE COULD KICK OUT WAS THE OBVIOUS -- A RUBBER MATCH BETWEEN THE DERBY AND PREAKNESS WINNERS. NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, BUT I MIGHT HAVE GONE WITH SOMETHING EVEN MORE SELF-EVIDENT. THE SELLING TOOL I WOULD HAVE USED IS: 12 HORSES ARE GOING TO RUN A MILE AND A HALF AT STORIED BELMONT PARK, SITE OF SECRETARIAT'S ROMP, IN SOMETHING CALLED THE BELMONT STAKES. IT'S A GRADE 1. IT'S WORTH A LOT OF MONEY. THOUSANDS WILL COME, MILLIONS WILL WATCH. AND SUNDAY, SOME OF THEM WILL COME BACK AND WATCH LESSER HORSES HERE AND AT LESSER TRACKS.

FOR SOME REASON, PROBABLY A COMMITTEE WAS INVOLVED, THE RACING GAME HAS FOR YEARS AND YEARS CONCERNED ITSELF GREATLY WITH ALL THOSE WHO DON'T CARE FOR HORSE RACING RATHER THAN CONCERNING ITSELF WITH THOSE WHO DO. (IDEA NO. 1 -- FREE ADMISSION)

I'M JUST ONE GUY HERE FROM KENT, WASH., BUT I DID GROW UP GOING TO A HELL OF A TRACK SOUTH OF SEATTLE. IT WAS CALLED LONGACRES. THE BOEING COMPANY BOUGHT IT ONE DAY AND TORE IT DOWN. BOEING DOES MAKE NICE AIRPLANES. IT WAS BOEING'S PROPERTY. BUT IN ALL MY YEARS GROWING UP NEAR SEATTLE, I'D NEVER HEARD ANYONE COMMENT ON BOEING'S LOVE FOR HORSE RACING (OTHER THAN HAVING A STAKES RACE NAMED FOR IT). IT'S A BIT LIKE HOW THE STARBUCKS GUY SOLD THE SONICS TO PEOPLE WHO AREN'T FROM SEATTLE. IN OTHER WORDS, TWO OF THE GREAT LOVES OF MY LIFE WERE SOLD TO PEOPLE WHO HAD ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST IN CONTINUING THOSE PROPERTIES IN MY HOMETOWN. THEY HAD MADE INVESTMENTS, SURE. BUT THEY WEREN'T INVESTED IN THE IDEA OF MAINTAINING THOSE TWO GREAT TRADITIONS.

THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF HORSE RACE FANS WHO ARE FULLY INVESTED. SOME OF THEM INVEST TOO MUCH (PAY YOUR REAL BILLS FIRST, KIDS), BUT NEARLY ALL OF THEM HAVE AN UNENDING APPRECIATION OF THE TRADITIONS AND THRILLS THIS SPORT HAS TO OFFER. THEY'RE EVEN READING THIS RIGHT NOW, EVEN IF ESPN BURIED IT UNDER "OTHER SPORTS." HOW WOULD I KNOW? I DON'T HAVE A COMPUTER. PLUS, I WROTE IT. THIS STORY IS DEAD TO ME. BUT THE SPORT ISN'T. NO MATTER WHO WON, I WANTED MASTER OF HOUNDS TO CROSS THE LINE FIRST. Editor's note: Kenny picked at 6:05 p.m. ET.

LIKE ZENYATTA'S (YOU CAN GOOGLE HER) TRAINER JOHN SHIRREFFS TOLD ME A FEW WEEKS BACK, "WE NEED TO STOP LAMENTING THE FACT THE GAME ISN'T AS POPULAR AS IT ONCE WAS BUT KEEP IN MIND IT'S BEEN GOING FOR FIVE OR SIX HUNDRED YEARS. WE'RE STILL GOING."

THAT WE ARE. WITH RULER ON ICE THE WINNER OF THE 143RD BELMONT STAKES. NEXT YEAR WILL COME THE WINNER OF THE 144TH BELMONT STAKES. MAYBE HE'LL HAVE WON THE TRIPLE CROWN. MAYBE SHE'LL HAVE DONE SO.

I'LL WATCH IF I AM THE LAST ONE.

TRADITIONALIST.

Kenny Mayne

Anchor/Reporter
Kenny Mayne -- known for his offbeat style, dry humor and unique sayings -- has served a variety of roles in more than 10 years with ESPN. He currently provides features to SportsCenter and "The Mayne Event" segments to Sunday NFL Countdown.

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