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2012 Belmont Stakes Preview — I’ll Have Another Heavily Favored to Win Triple Crown

Belmont Park
Al Bello, Getty Images

Triple Crown contender I’ll Have Another and 11 other horses will run at the 144th Belmont Stakes on Saturday. While I’ll Have Another races to become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown, the other horses will attempt to spoil his coronation and win their share of the $1 million purse.

Here’s a preview of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes:

I’ll Have Another drew position No. 11 when posts were drawn on Wednesday at Belmont Park. The Daily Racing Form has the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner at 3-5 odds to win. Jockey Mario Gutierrez and trainer Doug O’Neil believe that their horse is in prime condition for the race. Simply put: the Belmont is I’ll Have Another’s race to lose.

The horses that are most capable of keeping I’ll Have Another from becoming the 12th Triple Crown winner in history are Dullahan or Union Rags.

Dullahan’s odds are at 5-1. The horse, which finished third in the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness, has looked very lively under new rider Javier Castellano. Castellano replaced Kent Desormeaux, who failed a breath test May 18.

Union Rags is set at 6-1 odds for the Belmont. The horse, which was seventh at the Kentucky Derby and skipped the Preakness, has the speed, but there are questions as to whether or not it can maintain a pace around the spacious, one-and-a-half-mile Belmont track.

The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Optimizer, who did not finish in the money at the Kentucky Derby or Preakness, is not considered a threat. The remaining horses in the Belmont field — Paynter, Atigun, Five Sixteen, Guyana Star Dweej, My Adonis, Ravelo’s Boy, Street Life and Unstoppable U — did not run in either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness.

Since 1978, 11 horses have won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, but failed in the Belmont.

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