If Big Brown wins the Belmont and makes it a "Brown Crown," many in the industry will breathe a collective sigh of relief. "It's about time," they'll say. "Racing needs a hero." What better tale could be told than that of a 12th winner of the Triple Crown? And after 30 long years! Books will be penned, scores of mares will be nominated to his first season at Three Chimneys (whatever the cost!), and he'll be heralded as one of the immortals.
But I believe there's a better story in the offing. It might not be as sexy as a sweep of the classics, or as easy to grasp for those who don't follow the sport regularly. While Casino Drive (pedigree) can't take the Triple Crown, he can do something no horse has ever done: follow in the footsteps of two siblings in the 12-furlong test of champions.
Better Than Honour (pedigree) may well become the first mare to produce a Belmont winner three years in a row. If any doubts remain that Jazil (on SRO) was a fluke, they should be put to rest right now. This mare, herself a graded winner and multiple grade I placed runner who never finished out of the money, produced the Shadwell Farm stud from the Mr. Prospector horse Seeking the Gold (on SRO), and followed up a year later with the A.P. Indy (on SRO)-sired champion filly Rags to Riches, whose Belmont win was the first for a distaffer in more than a century.
And here comes Casino Drive. The Peter Pan (gr. II) winner has been pointed towards the Belmont pretty much for the past two years. By Mineshaft (on SRO), Casino Drive gets a dose of influence from both Jazil's sire line (Mineshaft's broodmare sire is Mr. Prospector himself) and from Rags to Riches' sire line (Mineshaft is a son of Rags' sire A.P. Indy).
Combine that with Better Than Honour's royal breeding, and you've got a horse that just might be unbeatable. I've already commented on Deputy Minister as a broodmare sire (as he is in Casino Drive's case), and it appears that this daughter is going to launch his broodmare sire stats into the stratosphere.
If you're a pedigree fan looking for an equine hero, look no further than Better Than Honour. And on Belmont Day, you just might hit the jackpot with Casino Drive.