Ill Have Another Horse, Perhaps no sport in America is in bigger need of a boost than horse racing. But it wonâ€™t get it from a Triple Crown winner this year.The sport suffered a major blow Friday when it was announced that Iâ€™ll Have Another had been scratched from todayâ€™s Belmont Stakes â€” and retired â€” because of a swollen left front tendon.
â€śItâ€™s a shame,â€ť said Jayme LaRocca, a former jockey and the current general manager of The Woodlands, which like a number of racetracks in the country is closed because of the declining popularity of the sport. â€śHe had a really, really good shot of getting the Triple Crown.â€ť
LaRocca said itâ€™s not unusual for a horse to be scratched from a race because of a medical problem.
â€śYou have to err on the side of caution,â€ť LaRocca said. â€śThis happens all the time, much more than people might think.
â€śItâ€™s just unfortunate that it happened with the Triple Crown on the line.â€ť
A crowd of more than 100,000 at Belmont Park and a huge television audience was expected to watch Iâ€™ll Have Another try to become the 12th Triple Crown winner. Instead, he became the 12th horse to win the Derby and Preakness but not win the Belmont since Affirmed swept the three races in 1978.
That leaves Dullahan, who finished third in the Derby but did not run in the Preakness, as the favorite for the race. And it was just more bad news for a sport in desperate need of a star.
The Jockey Club, an advocate for Thoroughbred breeding and racing, commissioned a 2011 study on the sport. The study found that since 2000, the amount of money wagered on races was down 37 percent and track attendance had fallen 30 percent. (Kansas City Star)
I’ll Have Another Win, I’ll Have Another won the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby, surging past Bodemeister in the final straight to claim the first jewel in US flat racing’s Triple Crown.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, Santa Anita Derby-winner I’ll Have Another on Saturday gave Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez a victory on his first Kentucky Derby mount.
Bodemeister, trained by Bob Baffert, led as they turned for home, but showed the wear of the blistering pace he’d set under jockey Mike Smith.
I’ll Have Another stormed past in the final furlong to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Bodemeister held off a charging Dullahan for second place.
I’ll Have Another, who broke from the 19th post in the full field of 20 horses, was in the middle of the pack as they approached the final turn.
Gutierrez worked his way through horses around the turn and took aim on Bodemeister.
“He’s an amazing horse,” the 25-year-old Gutierrez said. “I kept telling everybody, from the first time I met him, I knew he was the one. I knew he was good.
“I said in an interview, even if they allowed me to pick from the whole rest of the field, I would have stayed with him, 100 percent, no doubt about it.”
Union Rags, sent off as the favorite, got squeezed at the start and finished seventh under Julien Leparoux.
Went the Day Well finished fourth, followed by Creative Cause and Liaison.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Daddy Long Legs stuck with the pace early but faded and eventually came home last. (AFP)