I’ll Have Another put on another spectacular display this past weekend at the Preakness Stakes and now the horse has a chance to reach horse racing immortality. I’ll Have Another must have watched a replay of his Derby win right before the race because the final stretch was a reenactment of the horse’s victory at Churchill Downs. Beating out Bodemeister in just the last few strides.
The last Triple Crown winner was of course Affirmed in 1978. Since that time there have been 12 horses that have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown, but all 12 have failed to complete one of the most prolific accomplishments in sports. It has been a long 34 years and the sport now has a legitimate shot at a Triple Crown winner for the first time since Big Brown in ’08.
We are currently in the longest Triple Crown drought in the history of the sport. The second longest drought was from Citation in 1948 to the infamous Secretariat in 1973. Many say this drought has been a huge hit to the popularity of the sport. Some also contend that it will just be that much more meaningful when a horse finally does pull off the Triple Crown. We call that the Cubs Effect. Chicago Cubs that is. Long droughts can be eventually rewarding and the north side of Chicago shows you that droughts don’t always cause a drop in popularity.
Whatever the case may be, I am certain that horse racing needs a Triple Crown winner soon. The sport has received bad publicity over the treatment of horses since Barbaro’s death in 2006 and the unfortunate on-track death of Eight Belles’ in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Horse racing can finally get the bad taste out of its mouth with a Triple Crown victory from I’ll Have Another at Belmont in June. No pressure though…
I will definitely be tuned in to hopefully get a glimpse at history on June 9. Coverage begins on NBC at 5 ET and the horses are scheduled to post at 6:30 ET. The 144th running of the Belmont Steaks should be a good one and I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that I’ll Have Another will take home the victory and become the 12th horse to reach the pinnacle of horse racing.. the Triple Crown.
Written by: Craig Kibler