I'll Have Another did it again. The colt and his jockey, Mario Gutierrez, were able to put together a scintillating stretch run to win the 2012 Preakness Stakes. With the short track at Pimlico out of the way, I'll Have Another looks poised to win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
Gutierrez and his horse turned in a time of 1:55.94, but like the Kentucky Derby, they saved their best for the home stretch. In almost a repeat of what happened at Churchill Downs, Bodemeister led the entire way. But as they rounded for home, I'll Have Another found an extra gear and kicked by the betting favorite to edge him by a neck.
Pimlico's 9.5 furlong track was thought to be the toughest for I'll Have Another to tame, since his late speed might not come into play at a shorter distance. But one thing experts overlooked is the fact that I'll Have Another just seems to love winning races. No matter the distance, this Doug O'Neill-trained horse just seems to love finishing first.
The win at the Preakness was I'll Have Another's fourth-straight victory, all have come since Gutierrez took over as jockey. That combination of horse and rider seems to have developed something special as the wins have just kept coming.
The Belmont has long been difficult to tame for winners of the Triple Crowns first two legs. Belmont is a monster of a track at 12 furlongs, but given I'll Have Another's late speed, it would seem to fit his strengths well.
There is just something special about I'll Have Another and after his win at the Preakness, I feel comfortable predicting that he'll do something no horse has done in 34 years—he will win the Triple Crown.
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