Belmont Stakes

Third time in eight years a horse will go for the Triple Crown

Everyone knows the story about Secretariat and how the last Triple Crown winner at Belmont in 1978 was Affrimed, but this Saturday I’ll Have Another will try and end that drought. After a dramatic come back neck and neck finish with Bodemeister, the sire of the 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide will make the attempt in New York. The longest of the three tracks that the horses run on, Ill Have Another has showed great poise and push for Jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Gutierrez is a 25 year old who would be a great story if he weren’t overshadowed by his horse.  He himself is just starting out in his career, and in his first Triple Crown race he defeated Bob Baffert’s Bodemeister, named after his son. I’ll Have Another entered the Kentucky Derby as a 15-1 underdog with many strong horses ahead of him. He seemed to really take that course well and won the race in front of record crowds. In Baltimore at the Preakness, I’ll Have Another showed real will with jockey Mario Gutierrez showing his knowledge beyond his years, taking his horse to the outside away from the pact and allowing him to open up to eek out a victory, this time at a 3-1 underdog. The horse he beat both times was Bodemeister who was an 8/5 favorite that day and a 29-1 underdog on the first Saturday in May. I’ll Have Another will not have to face Bodemeister this Saturday or most of the other strong horses that were in the Kentucky Derby. Making him go off at a heavy 3/5 favorite. Union Rags who was thought himself to be a Triple Crown contender, will be there to keep the drought intact. Union Rags went off at a 4-1 favorite at Churchill Downs, he is trained by Micheal Matz and should run extremely well after having taken off the Preakness. Union Rags is a 6-1 underdog, and the longer course (1.5 mi) should help him, considering he hasn’t run in 35 days. I’ll Have Another started out  as a relative unknown, but with his rookie jockey they can be immortalized.

I’ll Have Another should have fantastic dry conditions this weekend that will make him run great, along with the lack of other top horses helps him. Look out for Union Rags with more than a month lay-off to be right there at the end, the last two horses that came up short having won the first two legs of the Triple Crown were Smarty Jones in 2004, who finished 2nd, and Big Brown in 2008 who was injured during the race and did not finish.

What will be the ratings for this race?

Is a Triple Crown winner needed to invigorate the sport of horse racing?