I'll Have Another has been scratched from the June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) according to trainer Doug O’Neill in an appearance on the syndicated Dan Patrick ESPN radio show June 8. O’Neill said the colt has a tendon injury that could threaten his racing career.
I'll Have Another Triple Crown. Won't You?
That may be a play on words, but it's also thoroughbred racing's answer to one of the longest droughts in the sport's history.
I'll Have Another, winner of 2012 Kentucky Derby® and Preakness Stakes, was installed as the 4-5 morning-line favorite to win the Belmont Stakes and become thoroughbred racing's first Triple Crown champion since 1978.
Trained by Doug O'Neill, I'll Have Another is the fifth horse in ten years and the first since Big Brown in 2008 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Winning the June 9th race at Belmont Park will make him the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed won the honor over 30 years ago.
"We're going to see how the pace sets up," trainer Doug O'Neill said to the Associated Press. "If they're Crawling, hopefully we'll be leading the crawl and if they're flying, hopefully we'll be sitting in behind the horses flying."
I'll Have Another will start form the 11th post in Saturday's Belmont Stakes: a position that's yielded only two Belmont Stakes winners since 1905. But don't tell that to I'll Have Another. In May's Kentucky Derby®, he made history by being the first horse to win the Run for the Roses from the 19th post.
Starting from the 11 position will give jockey Mario Guttierez a chance to survey the other horses during the race. In his two previous wins, Guttierez laid back with I'll Have Another until the final stretch before making his move for the win.
Triple Crown Drought
Since the last Triple Crown winner (Affirmed) in 1978, 12 horses have won both the Kentucky Derby® and Preakness Stakes. Eleven of these horses have failed to win the final leg (excluding I'll Have Another), falling one race short of claiming the Triple Crown. Here is how those 12 horses finished:
|Year||Horse||Belmont Stakes Finish|
|1979||Spectacular Bid||3rd Place|
|1981||Pleasant Colony||3rd Place|
|1989||Sunday Silence||2nd Place|
|1997||Silver Charm||2nd Place|
|1998||Real Quiet||2nd Place|
|2002||War Emblem||8th Place|
|2003||Funny Cide||3rd Place|
|2004||Smarty Jones||2nd Place|
|2012||I'll Have Another||?|
Do you think I'll Have Another will end the drought? Tell us your thoughts below!
2012 Belmont Stakes: Starting Positions and Odds
- Street Life (12-1)
- Unstoppable U (30-1)
- Union Rags (6-1)
- Atigun (30-1)
- Dullahan (5-1)
- Ravelo's Boy (50-1)
- Five Sixteen (50-1)
- Guyana Star Dweej (50-1)
- Paynter (8-1)
- Optimizer (20-1)
- I'll Have Another (4-5)
- My Adonis (20-1)