Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
From the owners’ perspective, it was a big-time disappointment when their horse, Charismatic, lost the Belmont Stakes recently. After all, he came this close to trotting away with the Triple Crown, not to mention about $5 million in prize money.
Written by: Dr. Michael Weiss
From the horse’s perspective, winning the Triple Crown probably didn’t matter a whole lot. He was most likely just looking forward to retiring to some cushy farm, where he could live out his days as a pampered stallion to the world’s choicest mares.
In fact, when Charismatic is out there on the farm doing what stallions do, I bet he’s not thinking about the $5 million he lost. I bet he’s thinking about that old Meatloaf song, "Two out of three ain’t bad."
It just goes to show you that everything is relative.
So what if Charismatic isn’t a Triple Crown champion. He won two of three Triple Crown races, which means that he’s still a champion.
Who wouldn’t take that track record any day?
I know I would. If I would’ve succeeded 66.67 percent of the time in my life, I would now be the most successful person on earth.
In Little League, if I would have gotten hits two out of every three times at bat, I would have been drafted by the Mets before I was old enough to shave. In basketball, if I would have made two out of three foul shots, kids everywhere would be jumping around in their Air Weisses, not their Air Jordans.
In high school, if I would have gotten dates with two out of every three girls I asked, I would have had been more popular than Paul McCartney, English accent notwithstanding.
As an adult, a success rate of 66.67 percent would mean that: One, two-thirds of my investments beat the market; two, I avoid bad restaurants most of the time; three, I have only a one in three chance of embarrassing myself on the golf course; and four, my kids do more than half of what I tell them to do.
I like those odds.
If I knew that I could succeed two of three times at anything, I would try everything. Instead, I’m like just about everybody else. I’m lucky that I got the big stuff right - spouse, children, career, friends - so I don’t get too freaked out when I miss on the little stuff, like investments and tee shots.
That’s also why I don’t feel too bad for Charismatic’s owners.
Sure, they invested a lot in making this horse successful, and maybe he was this close to becoming another Secretariat or Seattle Slew. But with no other competitor even in the position to try for the crown, Charismatic deserves his due: Two out of three ain’t bad, in horse racing or anything else.
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