History could be written this next Saturday, June 9, as horse racing's Triple Crown is at stake when the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes takes place from Belmont Park.
Thirty-three horses have gone to the Belmont to try and win the Triple Crown, but only 11 have achieved it. It's been 34 years since Affirmed swept the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
This year, it will be I'll Have Another who will try to become the 12th Triple Crown winner. He is the deserving favorite and will get the most attention on and off the track.
He has put horse racing fans on their feet with his home stretch runs on both the Derby and the Preakness, where he was the only horse to catch the loose-on-the-lead pace-setter Bodemeister both times.
I'll Have Another will be facing 10 rivals on Saturday, and the task won't be an easy one. Three horses, Dullahan, Union Rags and Paynter, stand out from the contenders list and are very capable of spoiling the Triple Crown bid.
Since Affirmed won in 1978, 11 horses have tried—and failed—to win the Triple Crown. The closest one to make it was Real Quiet in 1998, when he lost by a nose to Victory Gallop. It was a heartbreaking defeat because in a stride after the finish line, Real Quiet had regained the lead.
Many things have happened that haven't allowed the 22 horses that have failed to win the Triple Crown. It might have been a bad step, jockey's misjudgments, bad luck or simply they were not good enough.
But whatever the case, it's a must watch to see a horse attempt to earn horse racing's immortality. I'll Have Another has the pedigree, running style and tactical speed to do it, so you can't miss watching him try.
Let's take a quick overview to every Belmont contender and break down their odds. The odds are all from Mike Watchmaker on DRF.com's web page.