Veteran NYRA announcer Tom Durkin is retiring after 24 years at the end of the summer.
He'd called seven almost-Triple Crowns before Saturday (make it eight) and said 2004 was when he thought the post-1978 hex would have been broken.
"Smarty Jones would have been the one I thought had the best chance," Durkin said.
California Chrome's jockey Victor Espinoza thought his horse did.
"This is one of the best horses I ever rode," he said. "I'm sure one of these days, (someone) will win the Triple Crown. Sooner or later, we need to break, this bad, you know, karma."
After Saturday, it will definitely be later.