I just wanted to add that Calvin likely feels strongly that he and Rachel Alexandra were both denied a Triple Crown last year, due to her previous owner's decision to run her in the Oaks and not the Derby. "I have to," may reflect that enduring disappointment.
This is utter nonsense. Does anyone honestly believe RA ever had it in her to win at a mile and a quarter, nevermind a mile and a half, in Grade I company? Never has and never will.
Does anyone honestly believe RA ever had it in her to win at a mile and a quarter, nevermind a mile and a half, in Grade I company?
Well...I think Calvin may have done.
He certainly believed she could have handled the Derby and Preakness, and he has some justification for believing the latter, at least. Her margin in the Oaks suggests she might also have mastered the mile-and-a-quarter, with Borel aboard her, and at Churchill. As for the Belmont, I was one who bought tickets and nonetheless agreed with the decision not to run her.
Even so, had she set up for the race as a possible Triple Crown winner, I think Borel would probably have believed in her chances and stayed aboard her. Not, say, deciding to switch to a colt, to increase his odds of winning the mythical Triple Crown for humans.
I may be in the minority, but I do believe Rachel Alexandra would have won the Triple Crown last year. I don't think it's stupid to think Calvin might believe that too.
C'mon, let's be honest- she was very fast and steady! And it's not like they were breaking records in the Derby or Belmont last year. Every single horse has a possible distance limitation, especially when they're three. They never run that far again. It's always a matter of who slows down the least at the Belmont Stakes. Of course she would have had a chance! Especially coming off Wiggins' good work. And it's not like she's ever stopped in a race before.