After stealing the show with a shocking last-second win at the 2012 Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another ran a similar race and beat the same horse to win by a neck at the Preakness Stakes.
If this run toward a Triple Crown has been anything, it has been heart stopping.
There was no way I’ll Have Another should have won at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday after getting stuck in traffic and watching Bodemeister surge to another huge lead.
With the doubt firmly in place for fans watching the race, I’ll Have Another and jockey Mario Gutiérrez proceeded to hit the outside lane and make one of the wildest runs to a win in horse racing history.
With the win comes the chance to be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978's Affirmed.
The confidence from the I’ll Have Another camp is unreal, and trainer Doug O'Neill told the Associated Press about the feeling coming from the camp heading into the third and final leg of the Triple Crown:
We're ready. Bring it on. I can't put into words how incredible it is. We're just on Cloud 9. It's super exciting. It's hasn't completely sunk in yet. The party out here after the race was like wow! I've never seen anything like that -- everyone so excited about horse racing and I'll Have Another 2-for-2. I definitely feel the energy and buzz in the air. Like we did in Louisville and Baltimore, when we come to New York we're going to see the town, enjoy it, soak it in. And the reason we're enjoying it so much is the horse has been thriving so much. If he continues to do good, we'll have a good time.
In all my years watching horse racing, I have never seen the team and head trainer around a horse that won the first two legs of the Triple Crown so relaxed. They must know there horse is going to win.
After watching the last two races, I believe I’ll Have Another will win too.
Since Affirmed won in 1978, 11 horses have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown. None have won at the Belmont Stakes.
Where I’ll Have Another has the serious advantage over the other horses attempting the feat will be his competition.
As we saw over the last two races, Bodemeister was the cream of the crop for 99 percent of the races. The second-place steed will not be entering the Belmont Stakes, which leaves the door open for the potential first Triple Crown winner in almost 35 years.
This may be my inner optimist, but all signs point to a big win from the late charging stallion they call I’ll Have Another.
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