Finley: 20,000-1 against I’ll Have Another winning the Triple Crown
Since 1978, 11 horses have gone to the Belmont with a chance to sweep the Triple Crown and all 11 have failed. I’ll Have Another will be the 12th runner attempting to become the 12th Triple Crown winner. Bill Finley writes at ESPN.com that, while I’ll Have Another’s work on the track this year says he should be a 6-5 favorite, the recent history of the Belmont says he has no chance.
As for why potential Triple Crown winners have all failed in the Belmont, Finley writes “Theories abound, but I believe it has everything to do with how the modern horse is handled. Three races in five weeks was no big deal for the horses of the ’30s through the ’70s, but these horses just can’t handle it.”
Horses from the 1930s to the 1970s ran more often and were trained harder to stand up to their demanding schedule. For example, when Affirmed won the Belmont, it was his 17th career start and his eighth race as a 3 year old. I’ll Have Another will be making just his eighth career start when he contests the Belmont. Other factors making it more difficult for modern horses to win the Triple Crown could include Lasix use and breeding. Bad luck, like Spectacular Bid’s safety pin and War Emblem’s stumble, has also played a role.
Finley writes: “This can’t be dismissed as a freaky coincidence. The horses that win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness are absolutely up against it in the Belmont Stakes. Sure, I’ll Have Another can win. I hope he does. But the smart money will look elsewhere June 9 at Belmont Park, maybe to Union Rags or Dullahan. The odds, 20,000 of them, are against an I’ll Have Another victory.”