I'll Have Another is going for another.
Even though Bodemeister was favored to win at both Churchill Downs and Pimlico, it was I'll Have Another who crossed the finish line first. Not surprisingly, I'll Have Another is the early favorite at the Belmont.
Over the years, 30 horses have arrived at the Belmont Stakes with a shot at the Triple Crown, but those dreams have often been crushed at the third leg. Of those 19 who failed, some had better excuses than others.
Here are some of the alibis of the horses that came up short. If I'll Have Another can't pull off the trifecta on Saturday then what will the excuse be this time around?
(All captions via AP)
Tim Tam (1958
The Calumet Farm bay colt finished second to Cavan by 5 1/2 lengths after running the final quarter-mile with a broken bone in his right front ankle.
Carry Back (1961)
A scrawny, unattractive little colt was poised to make another thrilling stretch run to victory, but when jockey Johnny Sellers asked for more, Carry Back "spit the bit" - a racing term meaning he simply didn't feel like running anymore. He finished seventh behind 65-1 long shot Sherluck.
Majestic Prince (1969)
The great jockey Bill Hartack was criticized by many for moving too late in the stretch in losing to Arts and Letters. It was Majestic Prince's first loss in 10 starts.
Spectacular Bid (1979)
Considered a cinch to give racing its fourth Triple Crown winner in the 1970s, the Bid stepped on a safety pin in his stall the morning of the race. He finished third behind Coastal after young jockey Ron Franklin gunned Bid to the lead and the colt faded in the stretch.
Silver Charm (1997)
After reeling in rival Free House with an eighth of a mile to go, Silver Charm was on his way to immortality. But with 75 yards to go, jockey Gary Stevens saw another horse out of the corner of his eye. It was Touch Gold, and Silver Charm didn't see him either until 10 jumps from the wire. By then, it was too late.
Real Quiet (1998)
A year after trainer Bob Baffert had his heart broken by Silver Charm, another of his horses - Real Quiet - took a run at greatness. But jockey Kent Desormeaux was criticized for making his move too early, and by the time Real Quiet was a furlong from the finish at Belmont, he began staggering home. Victory Gallop, runner-up in the Derby and Preakness, was bearing down and the two hit the wire together. After several agonizing minutes, the photo went against Real Quiet.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas' Triple Crown quest ended with a quarter mile to go, when Charismatic fractured two bones in his left front leg but still finished third behind 29-1 long shot Lemon Drop Kid.
War Emblem (2002)
Baffert has had some tough luck chasing the Triple Crown and his front-running speedster was done in early - he stumbled out of the starting gate and finished eighth behind 70-1 long shot Sarava.
Smarty Jones (2004)
After fighting off strong challenges from Rock Hard Ten and Eddington along the backstretch, Smarty Jones and jockey Stewart Elliott opened a 3 1/2-length lead into the stretch. But the early duels proved to be Smarty's undoing. He tired in the stretch and was caught in the final 70 yards by 36-1 long shot Birdstone.