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Horse Racing Enthusiasts Abuzz for I'll Have Another's Running of The Triple Crown - it's gotta be heart - BREAKING NEWS - IHA scratched because of tendonitis

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Like a giant horse fly descending for a feeding, the world of horse racing enthusiasts is abuzz with weather reports, strategies between jockeys, trainers and owners, the fresh horse meat coming into Saturday’s third leg of the Triple Crown, nerves, and jokes such as Letterman’s about his pick for The Kentucky Derby – ‘the horse I picked to win was so slow, the jockey packed a sandwich.’

With IHA’s (I’ll Have Another) winnings presently at $2,693,600 – including first place purses from the last three races he won, Santa Anita Derby, and of course the first two legs of the Triple Crown, which include The Kentucky Derby and Preakness – he wins a mere $600,000 in contrast this Saturday at Belmont when he noses his way across the finish line.

Why such a vote of confidence when only eleven horses have won the Triple Crown in the past 137 years? (Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Whirlaway, Count Fleet, Assault, Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed) Because I’ll Have Another has the heart.

I’ve read horse racing blogs and rags about IHA’s eleventh spot coming out of the shoot, how 25 year old jockey, Marion Gutierrez, and trainer, Doug O’Neil, are pre running the race, while IHA rests, beginning today with the assistance of retired jockey Richard Migliore who will assist Gutierrez with strategy. Migliore has personally won more than 4,450 races – many of them at Belmont. (Jockey Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey was their first choice, but he was required to decline because of his position as NBC analyst)

There are those who say I’ll Have Another’s post position, 11 out of 12 (the higher the number, the further the horse has to run to covet the spot by the rail), is no big deal since the Belmont is a mile and a half long race. This race allows plenty of time to compensate for a rough start out of the gate.

IHA was purchased for a mere $35,000 early in 2011. For that amount one can buy 3 nice Harleys, one decent shotgun of English manufacture, a used fifth-wheel camper, or a pre-owned Corvette. In other words, IHA was a damned fine investment. With more than a hundred million wagered on Saturday’s race, breeding fees following his win at more than his purchase price per shot still take some time to add up.

Only 11 horses in the 137 years running of the Triple Crown have captured horse racing’s greatest achievement, winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. None are presently alive. The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978 and 11 horses have managed to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown since before losing at Belmont.

What does IHA get out of a win? Likely a run in the Breeder’s Cup, retirement and stud service on a farm in Kentucky – not a bad life after this past year’s whirlwind ride on the fast track of horse racing.

So while people in the know discuss how if it rains IHA doesn’t have a chance (the race he did lose was on a muddy track), how he has competed against 40 horses to take the winner’s circle this Saturday, and how jockey and trainer are strategizing the running and the winning, it gets down to the heart of one horse on one Saturday in June.

The weather can be perfect, the trainer can be an expert, the jockey can be the most experienced in the field and know his horse inside and out, but it comes down to IHA. We know he is fast, we know he has stamina (this is his third race in five weeks), but does he have the heart that when given his nudge will take him across the finish line first making him the twelfth to take The Triple Crown. There are many who are betting he does.

Comments

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Did you know Seattle Slew, the only undefeated Triple Crown winner, died 25 years to the day after he was the Kentucky Derby winner? He was 28 years old when he died.

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, heart or no, the deck is stacked solidly against I'll Have Another. Somebody fresh and rested (like Dullahan) will come after him down the impossibly long stretch at Belmont. It's what happened to the 11 who have tried since 1978. Dullahan has Javier Castellano up and he knows this big oval very well.
I agree that this is IHA's race to lose, though. He's a transformer that was pedigreed to run a long distance on dirt.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Where's your faith in the heart and spirit of IHA? I know you'd like to see this win more than most. It's been a long time coming - and it obviously is for a reason.

Some fanatics say there will never be another TC winner. Thoughts?

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

I'll Have Another just got scratched from the Belmont Stakes! Tendonitus. No Triple Crown winner this year.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Crap! Dang it.....so much for seeing a Triple Crown. Still, I much prefer a horse being scratched (preferably behind the ears) than risking a problem because of over zealous owners.

Who is our next bet? Dullahan......I know Creative Cause is out being rewritten......rather like my blog. hehe

RoeDapple 3 years, 1 month ago

I gots some that tendernitrous in my right leg. I stays real quiet 'boutit though. At my age they'd just put me down and call Hill's Pet Foods. Do you thing my stainless steel hip joint would screw up their grinding machines?

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Yep, have to say you'd be a magnet with that there stainless steel hipster and drift mighty fast towards the grinder upper. No wonder I'm always losing teeth when I gets one of them little bitty metal filings wedged in the wrong way. I'm determined to stop eating all dog food made from Roe meat.

Soooo, what a loose screw this race will end up. Now it's just another frekin horse race. It's like waiting to see my award winning iris bloom each spring and having hail or a late ice or snow storm wipe them out. There is always next year as they say, exceptin' I have to wait the twelve months! ;)

SB2013 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to the unselfishness of the trainer, and owner, this horse may not be a "Triple Crown" winner but at least he won't go down on the track, only to be victimized by an early death. There will be another TC winner - hopefully in my lifetime.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

I agree, SB2013, a much better outcome to what could have been a disaster that no one, especially owner, trainer and jockey would enjoy seeing. People rant that owners dope their horses, eyc. (and I'm sure that's happened as it does in every sport), but there is also a huge love and respect for the thoroughbreds. IHA will earn them plenty more without the risk - and if he can't run, he can't run.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Do I detect a slight smidgeon of jealousy? Perhaps your next life time you'll come back as a thoroughbred instead of a cuzin....one can only hope. Wait a minute.... What is the difference between your life and that expected for IHA?

camper 3 years, 1 month ago

All it takes is a good blog to spark my interest. Never really watched horse racing before. Go IHA !

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Camper, our IHA has been pulled unfortunately. It will now be an entirely different race and obviously no Triple Crown winner for at least another year. You should still watch the race and bet like a maniac though just to get into the spirit of things Once horse racing gets in your blood, you'll begin reading every book ever written about horses, viewing all the wonderful movies made about them that will make you cry your eyes out, and the next thing you know, you'll give up your present life and follow the races wherever they may be. Perhaps one day you'll find yourself riding a horse with no name through the desert or even beating a dead horse.

Anything is possible once the horse fly bites.

mom_of_three 3 years, 1 month ago

I was just a wee one when we watched Secretariat win it all. And I watched Seattle Slew. Secretariat and Seattle Slew shared a couple of bloodlines, but lots of quality horses usually do.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Mom, there are some days we remember crystal clear throughout our lives, and that day is one of them for me. I happened to be in a pool hall in St. Francis, Kansas. I don't drink, and I have entered a pool hall maybe three times in my life, but it was thee place to watch it at the time.

Do you generally watch all three legs of the triple crown? My family has always been horse nuts, but my son stated he likely wouldn't watch it now. Wild horses couldn't keep me away.....

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

"Secretariat and Seattle Slew shared a couple of bloodlines" Bold Ruler.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

This incident reminds me of Sir Galord getting injured the day before the Kentucky Derby. That horse had some possibilities.

camper 3 years, 1 month ago

I can surely see this to be true when it is in your blood. I got to ride a horse one time at a fair in Waco and otherwise learned admiration from books like the Red Pony.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Excellent book. I'd recommend it, along with the Black Stallion series and Black Beauty for all young readers who are horse and or animal lovers. We need to organize a backyard riding event this fall. That'd be some fun.

mom_of_three 3 years, 1 month ago

I read all the books about horses when i was a kid. We used to ride quarter horses. When we were young, we used to pretend to be secretariat and Onion and race each other around the yard. (Except onion would lose- HA). For years, I kept wondering if I made up onion, but he was the one who beat secretariat in a race after the triple crown (just watched youtube). So we used to watch ALOT of races.

camper 3 years, 1 month ago

I heard the Black Stallion series was good. I will try to find it at the bookstore. Another good one was called the Piebald Gelding by Tolstoy.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

They would be a super gift for any young or old person in my mind. Let me know if you find them. I should add to my library as well. I've got a couple of the original ones left but not all of them. There is The Black Stallion, Black Stallion's Son, Revenge of the Black Stallion, Black Stallion's Courage I'm not remembering how many there are total. Google, here I come. eBay? Lol

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Ok, thanks for that! Now I know what I'll be watching all evening - ubtube races of the greats. Onion huh? ;)

Don't you hate it when a horse beats your favorite? It's especially rough once you've become that horse in fantasy land. I was a horse most of my childhood. Then I became a Beatle once I was an adolescent. ( yep, that old!). My sister had it made. She was always just Paul. I was Brian Epstein, George, John, Ringo, their girl friends, audience members and occasionally Ed Sullivan. I was a hyper child. ;)

I still have my fantasy horses to ride, however. A girl's gotta ride and dream.

mom_of_three 3 years, 1 month ago

I had a buckskin like Marshall Dillon in Gunsmoke, so we used to ride around and pretend. Problem was, we were pretty short (and young) and had trouble getting back on the horse without stepping on a ladder, the side of a trailer or something.
We used to run around on our hands and knees, pretending to be horses, driving our mom crazy (ka-thumps on the floor for hours), and getting holes in our jeans.
We had lots of plastic, wooden and toy horses we used to take outside and pretend were wild or have our barbies and best of the west ride them around. After years of handling, some horses only had 3 legs. But they would still stand.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

I loved watching Gunsmoke. I wore my kerchief and holster from sunup to sundown and practiced walking like a gunslinger.

Want to meet me for a shoot out at high noon? :) All that practice likely enabled me to be the fastest reloader of my pistol while an officer.

I wish I had my collection of horses from childhood too. I may have to visit antique stores this weekend! My aunt gave me seven white minature horses for a birthday once. Wow. What a neat gift!

mom_of_three 3 years, 1 month ago

I wish I still had them. My mom had them and somewhere along the line, they were sold or given away. I was heartbroken.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

I'll bet. If we only knew then - although you likely always cherished them.

So who are you counting on for the win?

They look absolutely breathtaking - those muscles with the high sheen. Wow!

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

1973 Belmont; the race for the ages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V18ui3...

World record for 1 1/2 mile at 2:24 flat that has never been approached.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Just viewed it again, thanks. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, the thrill when he starts pulling away and keeps broadening the daylight gives me the same chills. One understands heart from that race, the pure joy and beauty of running, a gift of one of God's finest creatures that will never be equalled Poetry in motion, whatever one uses to refer to it, it just is outstanding to be able to watch. Hang on tight!

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Dullahan is now the morning line favorite at 9-5, followed by Union Rags at 3-1 and Paynter at 7-2.

Just saw IHA on the evening news. Good thing he was scratched: slight yet noticeable hitch in his getalong.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I'm afraid it was an absolute have to with IHA. I wonder if he trained too much these past five weeks (likely longer) or if something specific happened to trigger this. I understand a wrong step or hitting a low area can set it off.

Love Paynter for the dumbest possible reason, but I need to do more reading and viewing before I reach a decision. And you?

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Paynter is a Baffert horse, so a lot of people will like him for that. You like him for his name, right, Ronda (facepalm)?

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

How the frek did you figure that out? Omgod. Lol

We have a black cat named Panther and my son has always called her paynther to piss his sister off. Hehe

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

So if we want to go it on names alone....Street Life isn't a bad way to go - or live.

Where the heck is RoBoCop! Ahhh, forgot I torched him and put him out to pasture. I'm wracking up stud fees as I sit.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Something is up in the news about IHA being scratched by his owner the day before the race. I'm reading reports of people stating they are fed up and will no longer watch the running at Belmont today. All I care to say, I've got money on the race and it's a chance to see some amazing horses run. Sure it's a disappointment knowing we won't see a Triple Crown win today, but the cold reality is that was unlikely anyway.

So I say, rein it in and wish IHA the best. Now go ahead and enjoy a race bound to be filled with surprise. You may just find a new favorite in the mix.

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Thoroughbred writer Steve Haskin yesterday wrote a scathing article about the way the horses and trainers are in the middle of a media circus at Belmont Park. It incensed at lot of racing fans, including yours truly! But, hey, this is New York and a circus should be expected.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, Haskin was acting the age of the thoroughbreds. And you can tell him I said so! Do KU fans not watch the final four because a favorite player is injured and pulled from the game? Most fans I know suck it up and root for their second favorite team even if we're out. It's the love of the game and the race. That's what it's all about. Don't sweat the little stuff. Although, crying in one's beer can make for a fun couple of hours, gotta watch the hangover. All bets on! :)

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Well, the air sure went out of this balloon. It is what it is. OK: Trifecta box 5, 3, 1, 9 Two longshot bombs: 12 (My Adonis) to win and 8 (Guyana Star Dweej) to win. Any horse with the name Dweej deserves to be bet on. :-)

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Is Dweej your middle name? Hehe

I do enjoy the names and reasons being ALMOST as much as the horses. Love to see them strutting their stuff and tails swishing behind them as they make the parade though. And nothing quite like that all out rush to the wire.

Fly horse legs Fly in the sky All four hooves Off the ground Makes for hushed sound Barely a whisper As owner and trainer Hold their breath Jockey and horse as one Gallop, pound their way to fame It's awesome fun Watching the pretty ponies run

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Getting keyed up! Chomping at the bit. All worked up and lathered. Come on already! :)

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Ok, I like the one they're showing at the time the best. Here we go!!

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Dullahan with Javier Castellano up will come flying at the end and I pick him to win. Castellano knows the track well.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Dullahan looks fabulous, great jockey....still, Union Rags looks amazing too...as does Payther

Wait a minute.. My money is on Street Wise, right? Lol

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Terrific race. Was hoping Paytner could hold it, but that'd be an awful lot to ask.

Where was Dullahan? ;)

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

Dullihan, no board for him today. Never had it. I think my 4 wide exacta hit but they haven't shown the tote board and the race has been over for 10 minutes.

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

There it is, finally: 3-9 EX paid $31.40 on a $2 wager. Thank you!

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Cool. Good job! Bet your sisters did alright too.

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

FWIW: I think if IHA was there he would have won easily. But he wasn't there.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Impossible to say, but as far as speed, one would think so. Still, depends on his start too. Would have been so nice to have watched though.

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

Have you seen yet?

Take heavens Union Rags got his good start today and wasn't shut out on the rail. It would have easily been a different outcome.

riverdrifter 3 years, 1 month ago

One final thought: today's race was run at about 6.4 seconds slower than Secretariat's time of 2:24.0. That's about a city block behind Big Red!

Ronda Miller 3 years, 1 month ago

And think how fast BR might have run should he have had to push for it. He ran like a mad one though. That record will hold forever. And you were there!

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