Triple Crown produces 3 different winners, likely no closure

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FILE - In this June 20, 2020, file photo, Tiz the Law, center, with jockey Manny Franco up, crosses the finish line to win the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes horse race at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. After an out-of-order Triple Crown with a different horse winning the Belmont, Kentucky Derby and Preakness, it might be a long time until Tiz the Law, Authentic and Swiss Skydiver all race against one another. That is, unless Swiss Skydiver challenges them and older males in the Breeders Cup Classic on Nov. 7, which is expected to be a Tiz the Law/Authentic rematch.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

BALTIMORE – More than two months after Tiz the Law blew away the field in the Belmont, Authentic fended off his charge and won the Kentucky Derby. Four weeks later, filly Swiss Skydiver challenged and beat Authentic in the Preakness.

The Triple Crown races run out of order and later in the year produced three different winners and quite the competition for 3-year-old horse of the year. But it might be a long time — if ever — until Tiz the Law, Authentic and Swiss Skydiver all run against each other in the same race.

“It sure made it interesting to have a great debate: Which of the three winners would do it again if they, all three, were head to head?" said NBC Sports analyst Kenny Rice, one of the few people to witness all three 2020 Triple Crown races in person. “I would love to see all three of them be able to run against each other again, but I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.”

Tiz the Law and Authentic should get their Derby rematch in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 7, and Swiss Skydiver is eligible for that race. But trainer Kenny McPeek is more likely to enter her against other fillies and mares in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff that same day.

“We can look at both races, I suppose,” McPeek said after Swiss Skydiver won the Preakness. “But I would say right now we would probably lean towards the older fillies and mares. But nothing set in stone.”

A head-to-head-to-head showdown with older stars like Improbable and Maximum Security and promising 3-year-old colt Art Collector also in the field would make the Classic the race of the year. But after McPeek said he would've avoided running Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness had Tiz the Law been entered, she's probably going to take on a different kind of challenge in the Distaff.

The Classic with or without Skydiver is shaping up to feature tons of talent. Trainer Barclay Tagg said Friday things are going well with Tiz the Law, and Authentic will prepare to join Bob Baffert's Improbable and Maximum Security in the race as long as he continues to train properly out of the Preakness.

“It should be a really good Breeders’ Cup, as it usually is, but the Classic could really be something special this year,” Rice said. “This could be one of the better Classics, and while people will want to see how the 3-year-olds match up, I think it’s going to be awful tough to beat Improbable or Maximum Security.”