It is officially Belmont Stakes week and excitement is building while the world anticipates I’ll Have Another’s bid to win the first Triple Crown in 34 years. On Saturday, June 9, 2012, all eyes will be tuned into Belmont Park to see if this unexpected but amazing 3-year old colt can win the coveted prize which has been elusive for over three decades.
The Belmont is the most challenging race at a mile and a half. However, only three horses that have made it through the Triple Crown season with I’ll Have Another, Union Rags, Dullahan and Optimizer, remain in the field. Bodemeister, runner-up in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will not join his former opponent in the final contest. Dullahan skipped the Preakness.
Trainer Doug O’Neill, pictured left, has had I’ll Have Another training strong one-mile gallops. If the competition were stronger, the extra half-mile may be the game-changer.
However, O’Neill’s charge has remained calm and risen to the task of a champion when called. Even after a close call with a loose horse last week, the cool colt did not seem anxious or flustered. The trainer is completely confident that his horse will be next on the list after 1978’s Affirmed as a Triple Crown legend.
The following are the morning line odds, in alphabetical order only, as post positions will not be chosen until Wednesday, June 6. As of Monday, June 4, the field of eleven probable starters for the 144th Belmont Stakes are:
- Atigun 30-1
- Dullahan 5-1
- Five Sixteen 50-1
- Guyana Star Dweej 50-1
- I’ll Have Another 3-5
- Optimizer 30-1
- Paynter 8-1
- Ravelo’s Boy 50-1
- Street Life 15-1
- Union Rags 6-1
- Unstoppable U 30-1
On May 19, 2012, I’ll Have Another came up alongside favorite Bodemeister to take the second jewel in the Triple Crown. Want to relive that thrill again with one of the most excited and shocked people to ever call a race? Check out the video of the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes to the left. It will truly get anyone into the spirit to watch 25-year old jockey Mario Gutierrez ride this awesome colt into the history books.
Post time for the 144th running of The Belmont Stakes is at 6:35 p.m. on June 9, 2012. Live coverage will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
For more on the Belmont Stakes, arts, entertainment, business and more, subscribe to Randi Weitzman at the Examiner. If you have a story or would to contact, please follow her @notenufcash on Twitter.