Belmont Stakes

Orb and Oxbow Meet for the Rubber Match

As the Triple Crown season comes to an end, America will not be treated to a Triple Crown champion. Orb looked to be a serious threat to break the drought after winning the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Shug McGaughey and jockey Joel Rosario raved about his performance and were confident he would repeat in the 2013 Preakness Stakes two weeks later. However, Oxbow proved to be the horse that was ready for the challenge. And so, the Triple Crown bid was spoiled. Despite the fact that we will have to wait for a Triple Crown possibility, the two champions are set to meet in a rubber match at the 2013 Belmont Stakes.

New York sets the stage for two of the biggest 3-yr-old stars to settle the debate about who is the better horse. But then again, the remainder of the field will also be racing to join that debate. So, what type of rubber match race should we expect in 2013?

Continue Reading at HRN – The Kentucky Derby Post

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Takeaways From the 2012 Triple Crown

And so the pursuit of another Triple Crown continues. The Triple Crown can be described many different ways. However, since the quest has taken a hit in 2012 it leads to the interpretation that it is an impossible feat. Another word that sums things up to date is Curse. But is it? The truth is that the facts don’t lie and right now there aren’t many things that can dismiss this perception.

The 34 years that have passed since Affirmed was crowned in 1978 puts us in the middle of the longest Triple Crown drought of all time. Because the dry spell has carried on this long we’ve also seen more bids unravel in the final leg. Ahead of Secretariat changing the sport in 1973 you had to go back to Citation in 1948 to find the last Triple Crown winner. In those 24 years 7 different horses won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before they were denied at Belmont Park. But when you add 10 more years to a drought and include I’ll Have Another in 2012, the total of Triple Crown near misses since Affirmed has now climbed to 12.  (more…)

Let’s Restrategize

Betting the Belmont All Over Again

With I’ll Have Another’s bid for the Triple Crown now off the table it’s back to the drawing board for finding a winner. Before we break down what his absence does to the Belmont Stakes and the field, we’ll first have to recognize our champion colt.

“It’s a bummer. It’s not tragic, but it’s a huge disappointment.” That statement by Trainer Doug O’Neill puts today’s unfortunate and freakish injury into a better perspective. It was an incredible journey for I’ll Have Another. To see it come to unexpected end just over 24 hours prior to the post parade has been tough to stomach. However, while it’s hard to see I’ll Have Another come so close it’s still good to know that he is expected to recover before he pastures into a healthy retirement.

I take my hat off to a memorable champion and his entire team. They handled themselves with class leading up to the Belmont Stakes and with grace upon breaking the news today. Doug O’Neill handled his colt with poise leading up to and throughout the 2012 Triple Crown so to see him and owner Paul Reddam grip the hand they were dealt with calmness and without asking for sympathy deserves my applause. Here’s to Team I’ll Have Another, his magnificent triumphs and rewarding journey.

While my bid will have to be without the horse that got me here it doesn’t mean that his name won’t serve me an assist. I’ve been relishing the idea of winning my own personal Triple Crown. I’ve already declared it. When asked, I’ve responded the same way almost every time. So in his honor it stays the same; “I’ll Have Another.” (more…)

The Morning Line: 144th Belmont Stakes

I’ll Have Another Has Reached His Date with Destiny

Sports are most recognized for records, dynasties, amazing moments or athletes and the performances of its champions. Even as the glory is coveted through the history of every sport, the same goes for the moments of mystery, losing streaks, heart-break and in the case of Thoroughbred Racing, the Triple Crown drought. The ongoing phenomenon has reached 34 years since the crown was last worn but so has the moment when I’ll Have Another enters the arena. The Belmont Stakes Barn is a full house, the post positions have been drawn, and the Morning Line Odds set so without further ado we bring you the special Triple Crown edition of THE MORNING LINE.

Click Here for the Belmont Stakes Field and Morning Line Odds  (more…)

Why I’ll Have Another Can Win the Triple Crown

 Chasing vs. Leading At the Top of the Stretch

I’ll Have Another has reached the door step of immortality. While that road is an accomplishment alone, it’s only if he can complete the journey with another win that will allow him to relish in the halls of Thoroughbred Racing history. Since Affirmed became the 11th Triple Crown winner in 1978 there have been eleven other horses that have also reached that same door step but were unable to enter. As in each of those attempts at becoming the next, I’ll Have Another now faces the same analysis and predictions about his chances of becoming the legendary 3-yr-old that ended the Triple Crown drought. The similarities to the years that ended with a Belmont Stakes defeat is the general place to begin but the variables that separate I’ll Have Another is where things get interesting.  (more…)

Team Bodemeister is Back for More

Paynter Has A Score To Settle

Paynter – Zayat Racing Stables

Just because the connections for Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes Runner-up Bodemeister opted to pass on the Belmont Stakes doesn’t mean that the entire team has elected to do the same. While Bodemeister returned to his barn in California in preparation for races this summer, the remaining team members are headed to Belmont Park in attempt to settle the score.

Of course if we were in store for a final showdown between I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister it would be the biggest Triple Crown bout since Victory Gallop vs. Real Quiet in 1998 or Easy Goer vs. Sunday Silence in 1989. But because they are not going to meet for the final jewel the story line of revenge has an alternate angle in 2012. Because horse racing allows competition to go well beyond just the horses it means that on behalf of Bode, his owner and trainer are out to avenge his losses.  (more…)

Spoiler Alert: Triple Crown Debut at the Belmont Stakes

Waiting Until the Belmont Poses a Threat 

In the history of the Triple Crown there have been 19 bids for immortality that unraveled at the Belmont Stakes. The majority of these endeavors were negated by a horse that had already appeared in either of the first two legs. However, there is still a substantial amount of spoilers that made their Triple Crown debut in the Belmont Stakes. This is just another element that makes winning the Triple Crown such a daunting challenge because to win all three jewels a horse has to conquer a field of nominated contenders that can enter at anytime. On 8 different occasions the spoiler was played by a horse that waited until the Belmont before making their Triple Crown debut.

And they are:  (more…)

Belmont Stakes: Field Includes Triple Crown Tested Contenders

Early Probables Include Four Kentucky Derby Entries

Dullahan Headlines The Potential Spoilers

When a Triple Crown bid survives the first two legs is when the excitement really kicks into high gear. Because the drought has carried on for 34 years the horse that is in line to make it rain deserves all the attention and coverage that he is going to receive. What this doesn’t eliminate though is a look at the field that will be racing to win and prevent the Triple Crown gods from anointing another champion. Even though we’re still two weeks out, it’s never too early to get a look at the probable’s that will be lining up against our Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner.  (more…)

Hello New York

I’ll Have Another Arrives at Belmont

Following a pattern that has become a winning formula, Trainer Doug O’Neill waisted little time moving his Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion on to Belmont Park. Once the decision of shipping I’ll Have Another to Pimlico earlier than any recent Kentucky Derby winner proved to be rewarding, it was an easy choice for Doug O’Neill and owner Paul Reddam to put thier champion colt on the road the day after his Preakness Stakes victory.

Doug O’Neill was pretty confident that he would trust his instincts and ship I’ll Have Another swiftly after his Kentucky Derby victory. He felt it would be best for his colt to get settled in, acclimated to his new surroundings and most importantly comfortable with the new racing surface. The move got him into Pimlico almost two weeks before the Preakness after he arrived a week ahead of time at Churchill Downs. So now our potential Triple Crown winner has arrived at Belmont 3 weeks before the final jewel.  (more…)

The Morning Line: The Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes Trophy

As the Triple Crown season comes to an end on Saturday, America will not be treated to a Triple Crown champion for another year.  Animal Kingdom looked to be serious threat to break the drought after winning the Kentucky Derby on May 7.  Owner Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion raved about his performance and were confident he would repeat in the Preakness Stakes two weeks later.  However, Shackleford spoiled Team Valor’s dreams of a Triple Crown with a slim victory over the derby champion.  Despite the fact that we will have to wait another year for a Triple Crown possibility, the two champions will meet in a rubber match in the Belmont Stakes from Belmont Park.

New York sets the stage for two of the biggest stars in racing to settle the debate about who is the better horse.  Animal Kingdom has been given a slight nod and was instilled as the 2-1 favorite.  Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro sits at 4-1 with Shackleford as the third betting choice at 9-2.  (more…)