NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Triple Crown contender I'll Have Another, a favorite for Saturday's Belmont Stakes, has been pulled from the race due to injury, according to a report. The Dan Patrick Show said on its Twitter feed that the horse's trainer, Doug O'Neill, said on the show that, "I'll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont." After winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, I'll Have Another was in line to become the first horse to win the fabled Triple Crown since 1978. The Belmont Stakes will be broadcast on NBC --------------------------------------------------------
There goes any interest I had in tuning in tomorrow, not that I had anything invested in it to begin with.
Since I know nothing about horse racing, is PED's a big issue nowadays for horse racing? And will this somehow taint Bud Selig's legacy?
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There was a guy on NPR - the Wednesday commentary guy - who was all kinds of fired up about the owners of this horse being shady, and how it would seriously taint the triple crown if this horse won it.
I don't follow the sport that closely, but I'm happy for Frank DeFord.
As I recall, there was a news story a few days ago about extra restrictions and drug tests for all the horses going into the Belmont, ostensibly to provide a level playing field, but more than likely to prevent I'll Have Another from winning the Triple Crown if he's hopped up on drugs.
And then the horse gets pulled from the Belmont with only a couple days' notice. Coincidence?
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All I know is that this sucks big time economically. With the total lack of events taking place in the Coliseum, we were depending on the Belmont hype to give us a big weekend that we really needed. But now everyone is far less enthused about the stakes without the threat of a triple crown and it's basically become just another weekend. Hopefully, the injury that I'll Have Another has isn't a dangerous one and that it can live out a long and healthy life. There should still be a big crowd for tomorrow but I keep thinking to myself what could have been.
Well, the complexion of today’s Belmont Stakes sure has changed over the past twenty-four hours or so. The injury and subsequent retirement of I’ll Have Another has certainly removed most of the excitement and anticipation going into today's action. But, with change, comes opportunity.
Dullahan and Union Rags are (as i write this) co-favorites; to be honest, I don’t think either one can win. Dullahan has yet to finish in the Exacta in four tries on real dirt, while Union Rags always seems to have an excuse for not running as well as expected. In addition, if you go by Tomlinson Ratings, neither horse has the breeding for this distance (however, I will note here that the Brisnet ratings show the exact opposite, giving Union Rags the best rating in the field for the distance (albeit with a question mark); in addition, Union Rags’ damsire is Gone West, who sired 2000 Belmont Stakes winner Commendable. So it goes with pedigree handicapping).
With all that, my selection in this year’s Belmont Stakes is Paynter. The Bob Baffert trained Paynter has the best last-race speed figure in the field (whether going by Beyer or Brisnet); and he has shown steady improvement in each of his four career races. Paynter has the best Tomlinson Rating in the field for the distance (second best per Brisnet, behind Union Rags and his question mark). Paynter’s grandsire is Deputy Minister; Deputy Minister:
Sired Touch Gold, winner of the 1997 Belmont Stakes; Damsired Sarava, winner of the 2002 Belmont Stakes; Damsired Jazil, winner of the 2006 Belmont Stakes; Damsired Rags to Riches, winner of the 2007 Belmont Stakes; Damsired Curlin, second in the 2007 Belmont Stakes.
I’ll also mention, in passing, that Paynter’s damsire, Cee’s Tizzy, sired Tiznow; who, in turn, sired 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da’ Tara.
So my selection for the 2012 Belmont Stakes is Paynter.
Looking forward to hearing any and all other thoughts on today’s race.
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Talking about betting, DB, I've read a couple articles about how it's easy money to bet against the horse looking to win the Triple Crown (as they get bet up so very much). Do you agree with that, and is that something you would have done if IHA hadn't had the injury?
Originally posted by Mr. BoffoTalking about betting, DB, I've read a couple articles about how it's easy money to bet against the horse looking to win the Triple Crown (as they get bet up so very much). Do you agree with that, and is that something you would have done if IHA hadn't had the injury?
Since Affirmed won the last Triple Crown in 1978, horses that have won both the Derby and the Preakness were a combined oh-for-eleven going into today's race. So, yes, betting against the horse looking to win the Triple Crown has been a very smart move over the past thirty-some-odd years.
Of course, having decided that you're betting against the potential Triple Crown winner, still means that you have to pick the horse that will win the Belmont. For example, just because you decided to bet against a horse's attempt to win the Triple Crown, doesn't mean that you would have landed on eventual winner Da' Tara at 38.5-1 in 2008, or Birdstone at 36-1 in 2004, or Lemon Drop Kid at 29.75-1 in 1999.
I realize that I'm stating the obvious, but it bears repeating: picking one horse that will lose isn't enough; you still have to pick the eventual winner; which makes it hardly "easy money".
As to IHA this year; while he was clearly the best horse in the race on paper, I probably would have played against him. I didn't like that the Belmont stewards were taking away his breathing strip, and he was sure to be way over bet beyond any reasonable expectation of his chances to win. In addition, IHA had a lot of history to overcome: not only has it been over thirty years since a horse has won the Triple Crown, it's been over fifteen years since the Belmont was won by the Kentucky Derby winner. There's just too many fresh horses gunning for the big guy to justify taking a short price.
So, while I would have been rooting for I'll Have Another to win the Triple Crown, that's not the way I would have been betting.