Opinion corner: Triple Crown feverUnless I’ll Have Another wins Saturday — chances are you won’t hear much about the Belmont Stakes. For the first time since 2008, this colt owned by a Canadian, has a chance at thoroughbred immortality with a potential Triple Crown victory.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Unless I’ll Have Another wins Saturday — chances are you won’t hear much about the Belmont Stakes.
For the first time since 2008, this colt owned by a Canadian, has a chance at thoroughbred immortality with a potential Triple Crown victory.
In the sport of kings that means wins at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and finally this weekend’s Belmont Stakes.
Big Brown was the last horse to have gotten this far but fell short at the Belmont in 2008, when he finished ninth after missing three days of training after a crack to the left front hoof was patched.
It’ll only take a couple of minutes for those 11 horses to determine a winner once they take off from the gate on the 1.5 mile-long course affectionately called “The Run for the Carnations.”
I suggest tuning in as I’ll Have Another looks to join the 11 other race horses to win a Triple Crown since 1919. It’s been 34 years since Affirmed won the last Triple Crown in 1978.
Chances are unlikely that I’ll Have Another will prevail. Dullahan has been running the fastest workouts and the smart money should go on him.
As of Thursday, I’ll Have Another was 4-5 odds with Dullahan checking in at 5-1.
Dullahan also took third at Churchill Downs this year and skipped the Preakness to prepare for Belmont.
Here’s the kicker: Doug O’Neill, trainer for I’ll Have Another also has a rap sheet for alleged horse doping that would make some big leaguers blush.
Regulating horse doping is relatively new to the sport, but O’Neill has 25 violations for numerous infractions on his record since 2005, four are tied to doping.
The technical term is milkshaking. It involves a mixture of baking soda, sugar and water. This is supposed to reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which reduces muscle fatigue. This is detected by high levels of carbon dioxide in horses.
O’Neill has four well known cases where his alleged horse doping failed miserably. He might have been giving them something to keep them from getting tired, but those four horses did not run like it.
One horse, Argenta, was found to have an overage from a 2010 race. It was ruled that there was no evidence of milkshaking, but O’Neill still got a 45-day suspension, which will be served after the Belmont Stakes.
So surprise, surprise, it appears cheating is just as relevant in the sport of kings as it is elsewhere in professional sports.
However, even with O’Neill’s list of violations, none have been connected to I’ll Have Another. The horse has run great so far, and why would he mess with a winner?
But if he wins over Dullahan it should be an honest and hard fought victory, until tests may tell us otherwise.
Rodgers is a news writer at the Jamestown Sun