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Belmont Stakes 2011: Isn't He Perfect Isn't the Only One to Blame

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IJune 15, 2011

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 11: Jockey John Velazquez aboard Animal Kingdom #9 breaks from the starting gate during the 143rd running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11, 2011 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The blame of Animal Kingdom’s bad fortune seems to have fallen on one horse in the Belmont Stakes (G1), but is Isn’t He Perfect really the sole horse to blame?

Animal Kingdom tripped and almost unseated his rider soon after the break of the race on Saturday and was instantly defeated. But most feel content to blame the bad luck on Isn’t He Perfect, a horse that didn’t belong in the race and wasn’t the only factor contributing to Animal Kingdom’s bad luck.

Watching the break from the head on view, it is true that Isn’t He Perfect did force Mucho Macho Man over but the horses inside Animal Kingdom were also moving out at the same time.

So, while Isn’t He Perfect did contribute to the trip that cost Animal Kingdom the race, he also wasn’t the only one to blame for the demise of the Kentucky Derby winner.

It should also be noted that Prime Cut (No. 8) was bumped by Monzon (No. 7), forcing the colt to run into Animal Kingdom’s path and even bumping him at one point. Animal Kingdom’s path was cut off by Prime Cut (who it also could be argued did not belong in the race) and Mucho Macho Man coming together and closing the hole on Animal Kingdom.

Seconds after the hole where Animal Kingdom had been was closed, Animal Kingdom tripped.

Horse racing is all about luck all around the track but especially at the break, and Animal Kingdom didn’t get the luck he needed on Saturday to win the third jewel of the Triple Crown.

Yes, there were horses in the race that didn’t belong, just like most stakes races in America and even in past runnings of the Belmont Stakes where maidens have made an appearance.

But while Isn’t He Perfect did not belong in the race, he should not be solely to blame for Animal Kingdom’s near fall in the Belmont Stakes.

To see the head on view of the break among other angles, click here.

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