The only horse with a real shot at the Triple Crown this year never even made it to the starting stall of the Derby.

Eskendereya was the stand out horse and the Triple Crown races so far prove it.

He beat Jackson Bend by nine lengths twice in a row in the Fountain of Youth and the Wood, and Jackson Bend almost won the Preakness.

But Eskendereya's retirement raises the question once agin:

Will anyone ever win The Triple Crown again?

It is now 32 years since Affirmed showed the way, just a few years after Seattle Slew and Secretariat and we thought this Triple Crown nonsense was no big deal.

Not any more.

Maybe it is the modern way of training horses, maybe it is the fact that drugs have destroyed the staying power of the thoroughbred, but it seems less and less likely every year we will crown another champion.

Sure there have been near misses.

Real Quiet got beat also in the last stride on his race for the Triple Crown in 1998 (see photo) by Victory Gallop but no horse, with the exception of Smarty Jones, who also led until the final 100 yards has come close since.

So many what might have beens of course.

Last year Rachel Alexandra won the Preakness. She would certainly have won the Derby as she won the Oaks the day before by twenty lengths, but her owners never entered her.

This year Eskendreya would have been a standout but he never even made it to the gate.

This is fast becoming the Joe Di Maggio hitting streak of modern day sports.

But roll on next year. The dream can still happen