Top-notch horse I'll Have Another came out on top in what was a photo finish to remember at the 137th annual Preakness race, as it was indicative of not only his talent, but the significant skill in the field heading into the 2012 Belmont Stakes in New York.
I'll Have Another is now in position to take home a 2012 Triple Crown. It would the first time since 1988 that a horse win all three events. Affirmed was the last horse to win the Triple Crown 34 years ago, marking it the longest drought in the sport's history.
Yet there were several other horses that have been especially competitive lately and could make life difficult for the Derby and Preakness champion at Belmont. During the majority of the Preakness, I'll Have Another had trailed before storming back to first place on the last straight away.
These are the horses with the best chance to take down I'll Have Another in New York on June 9.
For the majority of the Preakness, Creative Cause was among the top contenders to come through in first place. Heading into the final stretch, he was among the top half of the horses.
Creative Cause would finish third in this down-to-the-wire contest, after Bodemeister and I'll Have Another pulled well ahead of the pack at the end.
He was also fifth place at the Kentucky Derby in an especially competitive 20-horse field.
There is no doubt this horse boasts the ability to compete with the best of them, it's just a matter of whether or not he is ready to make the final push for a top-two finish. Although we must keep in mind, he is no lock to race at Belmont.
An especially underrated horse, Dullahan has the potential to make noise at the Blemont Stakes come June.
According to ESPN, in spite of not racing at the 2012 Preakness, Dullahan has been training for the race in New York since his Derby showing.
Led by jockey Kent Desormeaux, Dullahan finished an impressive third in the race, finishing behind both I'll Have Another and Bodemeister.
There is a plethora of potential in this horse, and with the proper rest and training, there is no question that Dullahan could well be the surprise horse at this event.
Much like Dullahan, Union Rags has had some major slippage under the radar as of late.
After skipping the Preakness, there is no question that Union Rags will be well rested and properly trained for what should be a promising Belmont Stakes event.
The horse with the second-best odds at Churchill Downs is an extremely capable horse, and could well give I'll Have Another a run for his money. As the team will search to make up for the poor showing at the Kentucky Derby, expect Union Rags to be a force at Belmont.