Horse Racing: Why I'll Have Another Is One of 2012's Best Sports Stories
I'll Have Another took the horse racing world by storm this year, winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and making him one of the best stories of 2012.
Bought for only $35,000, I'll Have Another proved his worth in his second year racing, but he came from obscurity to do so.
While he has an excellent pedigree, with relations to former Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, I'll Have Another didn't have any major wins in his first year racing.
A year later, at three years old, I'll Have Another started to heat up. As a 43-1 longshot, I'll Have Another managed to shock the field at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita to win.
He then went on to win the Santa Anita Derby, showing his knack for close victories by winning by just a nose.
At that point, I'll Have Another had earned some respect, but not enough to be considered a favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
Someone forgot to tell I'll Have Another that he wasn't supposed to win, and he shocked the favorite Bodemeister as a 15-1 longshot. He managed this despite riding with a jockey who had never raced a Triple Crown race before.
His victory was still not enough for I'll Have Another to be considered a favorite over Bodemeister at the Preakness. Regardless, I'll Have Another caught Bodemeister yet again to win the race.
The story becomes even more interesting, though, in the lead-up to the Belmont Stakes.
Finally, I'll Have Another was considered a heavy favorite, but this time, he was forced to pull out of the race due to a potential career-ending injury.
This had to be a difficult decision for his handlers to make, but ultimately, this decision probably saved I'll Have Another's life.
As big as winning a Triple Crown would have been, saving I'll Have Another was more important. For making the kindest decision possible, I'll Have Another's handlers deserve to be among the biggest stories in sports in 2012.
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