- In: Culture
- Published on 08 June 2012
- By James
I'll Have Another, the horse vying for the first Triple Crown since 1977 has been scratched from this Saturday's Belmont Stakes! According to the New York Times, Doug O'Neill, the horse's trainer, told the Dan Patrick show that the horse had a left leg problem, adding, "We ain't taking any chances. Wow.
I can think of few things more "old-money" in American than horse racing. Every year horse racing is largely forgotten (you know except by degenerate gamblers) until the Kentucky Derby. The anticipation for a triple crown doesn't start spreading until the day of the Preakness, the second leg of the triple crown. When a horse such as I'll Have Another not only wins the Preakness after wining the Derby, but does so in such convincing fashion, it breeds mass hysteria among American sports enthusiasts (especially those on the east coast). With I'll Have Another being removed from the race (and details about the extent of his leg injury still unrevealed at the moment) the blow to the sport of racing will be immense. I've heard that field seats at this Sunday's Belmont Stakes were going for over $1100 a pop. Would people pay nearly that much had they had this information two weeks ago? I highly doubt it. I'm not trying to say that those close to the horse, such as trainer Doug O'Neill, knew about the injury and kept it secret, but this is bad news for everyone involved in the sport of racing all-around. In today's economic climate people hold onto American traditions such as the Triple Crown because it allows them to forget whatever daily troubles that have been on their minds. You put on a suit or dress, fill up a flask, buy a few expensive cigars, and head to the races. I've been to the Belmont Stakes three years in a row and didn't plan on going this year until I'll Have Another won the Preakness. It's an event worth going to. People will still have fun tomorrow, but there will be an obvious somber tone to the day. The air has been let out of the balloon. Now let's just hope that the horse is okay.