Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I'll Have Another... And Another...

     Horse racing has had eleven Triple Crown winners (Horses who've won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes) since 1900 with the first being Sir Barton in 1919. But not since 1978 has horse racing had such a prestigious winner. Harbor View Farm's own Affirmed was the last horse to accomplish this. The feat is so rare that there have been plenty of Kentucky Derby winners who didn't win the Preakness. Fast forward 34 years later and the next Triple Crown candidate is certainly not one of the Vegas favorites.
     I'll Have Another, a foal by Flower Alley out of Arch's Gal Edith, only needs to win the Belmont Stakes on June 9th to cement his legacy and immortality in sports history alongside Secretariat and Seattle Slew as a Triple Crown winner. The way that the 3-year old horse has won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness has had a flair for the dramatic. Both races started off with 4-1 Kentucky Derby favorite Bodemeister rocketing off with the lead under jockey Mike Smith. I'll Have Another, who came into Churchill Downs with 15-1 odds, came out of the 19th post and was kept firmly in the pack by 25-year old jockey Mario Guittierez. But I'll Have Another came back during the final turn, beating out Bodemeister by 1 1/2 lengths with a time of 2:01:83 to seal the Kentucky Derby. What's even more incredible was that this was the first time Guittierez ever raced at Churchill Downs and was his first race later at the Preakness.
     But there certainly wouldn't be a case of deja vu on May 19th, would it?
     I'll Have Another entered the race as the second choice, coming in at 3-1 odds. The favorite? You guessed it. Bodemeister entered the Preakness with 8-5 odds, making him the early favorite. The race started the same way that the Kentucky Derby did: Bodemeister with the early lead and I'll Have Another sitting back in 4th place. But again came Guittierrez and his steed I'll Have Another in the shadow of the wire, beating Bodemeister by a neck length. I'll Have Another's winning time at the Preakness was 1:55:94.
     I'll Have Another set foot in New York about three days ago in preparation for the Belmont Stakes. Will I'll Have Another become the 12th Triple Crown winner on June 9th? Tune in and watch the most exciting two minutes of your life.

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