I'll Have Another's Triple Crown Would Be Tainted with Bodemeister Out

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19:  Mario Gutierrez on I'll Have Another edges out Bodemeister riden 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

There is not a single horse in the 2012 Belmont Stakes field capable of running with I'll Have Another.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner has been absolutely brilliant in the first two legs of the Triple Crown races and has proven to be more than anyone ever expected.

One constant in the 3-year-old chestnut's two runs for glory thus far is one thing every great champion needs: a nemesis.

Bodemeister was not only a pace-setter for I'll Have Another, but rather the driving force for the horse to compete with.

We may not know what these incredible animals think or feel, but it's quite evident that finishing behind another horse is not something they enjoy.

I'll Have Another arrived at Belmont approximately one day after his win at Preakness, but his rival won't be joining him any time soon.

Bodemeister will not run the grueling one-and-a-half-mile "Test of Champions" because the distance is too great for a horse of his speed.

We know the type of competitor Bodemeister is and the horse would legitimately try to sprint the entire length, and now I'll Have Another's historic run is missing the one thing that made it so great.

A Triple Crown winner is sorely needed after a 33-year-absence, but this potential winner will come to us tainted due to lack of competition.

It's not his fault, but it is the unfortunate truth.