I'll Have Another took home another thrilling win at the Preakness. He is now well on his way to taking home the Triple Crown.
Just like in the Kentucky Derby, I'll Have Another started the Preakness a few lengths back. In the home stretch he let loose and beat out Bodemeister by little more than a nose.
I'll Have Another's trainer Doug O'Neill told USA Today, "I can't even put it into words, it's just incredible. I'm numb. I could see him and felt like he was coming, but you never want to expect that he's going to be in front. It seems like the stretch never ends. Thank God. Usually you want it to end. (Jockey) Mario (Gutierrez) was so patient. We're thinking Triple Crown, baby. Come on, why not."
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Winning the Triple Crown is a very rare accomplishment. Since 1919, the Triple Crown has only been won 11 times.
The last horse to take all three races was Affirmed in 1978.
Several horses have made it past the Derby and the Preakness, only to see their dreams dashed at Belmont.
2008: Big Brown won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Immediately following the Preakness, a crack was found in Big Brown's front hoof. Unfortunately the injury was too much to overcome to win the Belmont Stakes.
2004: After winning the Preakness by a record 11 and a half lengths, Smarty Jones nearly took home the win at Belmont. He led the pack around the quarter pole and maintained the lead inside the furlong marker. He fought off Birdstone nearly to the end, losing by a nose.
2003: Funny Cide took home both races previous to the Belmont Stakes. Heavy rains caused the track to become almost too muddy to run. Jose Santos, the jockey riding Funny Cide, made the mistake of riding the horse inside where the mud was deepest. Funny Cide finished third.
2002: War Emblem, a horse trained by Bob Baffert, stumbled out of the gate at Belmont before bumping Magic Weisner at the start. He regained some speed but not enough to take home the lead. War Emblem finished third.
I'll Have Another is the embodiment of an underdog. The Washington Post reported that the thoroughbred was purchased for $35,000, an extremely low price tag in the racing world.
I'll Have Another has never been favored to win a race, including the Preakness.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez refused to take any of the credit for both the Derby and Preakness wins. Gutierrez told the Washington Post, “It’s not about me; it’s about the horse. I’m so happy for him because he’s just a great horse. He has a tremendous kick in the end. And he’s more smart than I am. The horse deserves the credit.”
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