I'll Have Another's Triple Crown Chase: Biggest Threats in Belmont Stakes

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19:  I'll Have Another ridden by Mario Gutierrez comes ahead at the finish to beat Bodemeister ridden by Mike Smith to win the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 19, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The grueling one-and-a-half-mile run at the Belmont Stakes is all that stands between I'll Have Another and a historic Triple Crown win.

Belmont has doused the fires of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners time and time again, and now I'll Have Another will take the "test of champions" and try to become the first horse to win the Derby/Preakness/Belmont since Affirmed in 1978.

Regardless of the horses in the field, this will be his toughest test yet. Here's a look at the biggest threats to I'll Have Another's Triple Crown run. 

(Projected horses courtesy of Daily Racing Form.)

 

Dullahan

A third-place finisher at the Derby, Dullahan broke from the rear and showed off great closing speed at Churchill Downs.

He's earned quite a bit of money throughout his career and has good bloodlines to boot. There is plenty to like about Dullahan, including the rest he's had since the Derby.

 

Union Rags

A disappointment at the Derby, Union Rags will be out to redeem himself at Belmont. He never factored in the Run for the Roses at all, but is a gifted horse who was favored at Churchill Downs for a reason.

We'll see those reasons on the dirt come race day and he could be the toughest challenger in the field for I'll Have Another.

 

"The Test of Champions"

As discussed earlier, the length of the Belmont Stakes is a grueling one-and-a-half-mile run that can chew up and spit out even the best of horses.

There will be no gate-to-wire winner here, and the jockeys have a lot of responsibility in this race.

I'll Have Another has defied the odds twice now, but the distance of this race will be the ultimate test.