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According to polls and other means of evaluating group responses, Animal Kingdom has little chance of winning the Triple Crown. The general opinion is somewhere near two-thirds against his success in that very difficult feat.

Yet I have had two very astute judges of horses and racing form tell me that he is a good prospect. Their feeling went thus: he is improving massively and will continue to do so; he stays well and will not be hampered by another quarter-mile; he is in the hands of a trainer who is conscious of fitness; and he has the class.

If you think the latter is a volatile quality, it certainly is. Hard to evaluate till displayed regularly at the highest level, it is more apparent when seeing horses up close and in person.  Class or high character is also subject to the interpretation of the individual horseman, and both the two suggesting this to me are sharp and are not affiliated with Team Valor.

So I trust them.

Can this so unexpected animal catch the prize which has eluded us all for more than three decades?