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Bear Market at the Races



The final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, will be run tomorrow at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. If Funny Cide wins the Belmont he will become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years. The last horse to sweep all three races, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, was Affirmed in 1978.

Just out of curiosity, this afternoon I did some basically meaningless research on what happens to the Dow Jones Industrial Average during the year a horse wins the Triple Crown. (Give me a break -- it's been a stressful week.) There have been just 11 Triple Crown winners:

1919 - Sir Barton
1930 - Gallant Fox
1935 - Omaha
1937 - War Admiral
1941 - Whirlaway
1943 - Count Fleet
1946 - Assault
1948 - Citation
1973 - Secretariat
1977 - Seattle Slew
1978 - Affirmed

• The average return of the Dow during a Triple Crown winner year is -4.04%.

• Eight of eleven Triple Crown winner years were negative.

• The three positive Triple Crown winner years were 1919, 1935, 1943.

• The best Triple Crown performance year was 1935, practically the middle of the Great Depression, when the Dow finished up 38.53%

• The worst Triple Crown performance year was 1930, when the Dow finished down 33.77%

Now we all know there can't be any real correlation between a horse winning the Triple Crown and the stock market, can there? Nevertheless, superstitions have to be created somewhere.

I have no idea if it will make a difference in the outcome of the race tomorrow, but Funny Cide's supporters may not be the only ones cheering for the horse down the stretch. Some shorts may be pulling for him as well.

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