Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another's Style Makes Him Triple Crown Lock

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2012

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

I'll Have Another has already proven he can win from anywhere in the field.

He is the first horse in the history of the Kentucky Derby to win from the No. 19 post. He's completed not one, but two come-from-behind wins to earn a shot at the historic Triple Crown. 

And now he comes to Belmont as the overwhelming favorite to win again.

With Bodemeister's defection from the race there isn't a horse in the sport today ready to run with him.

Dullahan and Union Rags, two Kentucky Derby runners who skipped the Preakness, weren't even close to what I'll Have Another did at Churchill Downs—and Dullahan finished third in the race.

The beauty about I'll Have Another is that no matter which horse sets the pace he can find a way to chase them down and reel them in.

There's a reason no other horse had ever won from the No. 19 post in the Derby, it is way out there, but I'll Have Another threw that out the window.

The 3-year-old chestnut colt is simply a machine coming to the wire. Even with near-suicidal splits set by Bodemeister in the Derby, and a bit slower, tempered pace at the shorter Preakness, I'll Have Another still waited and pounced with just enough room for the win.

At Belmont, where the race is a long, brutal one-and-a-half mile run for the wire, any pace is a fine pace for this horse.

He can sit off the lead and let the others think he's buckled under the pressure, but when the time comes to kick, there is no horse close to his stature in the field.

It's been 33 years since the last Triple Crown winner, but this year, after two magical wins in the first two legs, I'll Have Another is in prime position to end the three-decade long streak.