There's no way around it. The 144th running of the Belmont Stakes will be viewed by many as a disappointment before it even starts. It could turn out to be the most thrilling mile and a half in the history of horse racing, somehow, but many will keep wondering what could have been.
Would we have had another Triple Crown winner if I'll Have Another had not been scratched?
On Friday, trainer Doug O'Neill broke the news that I'll Have Another will miss the Belmont -- and never race again -- due to tendonitis in his left front leg. Although I'll Have Another is unable to run for the Triple Crown, the chestnut colt is still set to appear in the winner's circle at Belmont Park. The winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes is to be honored with a retirement ceremony.
While most racing fans -- and certainly everyone who paid to advertise during the NBC broadcast -- would rather have I'll Have Another breaking from the 11th post position, the owners, trainers and jockeys tied to the remaining horses must fancy their chances a bit more.
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Show: $3.40Paynter Place: $5.10
4. Street Life
Here they come down the stretch...
Up to 3rd
Has moved into 2nd place. Optimizer 3rd and Union Rags 3rd.
Is waaay back in the pack
Optimizer running outside of Paynter at the front
Paynter, Optimizer and Unstoppable U lead
And they're out clean... Paynter out front.
Dullahan calmly waiting to enter the gate. The crowd is getting loud and the start is nearing..
NBC reports it at more than 85,000
|@ TwittinSports : Guyana Star Dweej is my pick to win the Belmont. The horse drinks beer and has Kent Desormeaux as the jockey. Odds are 21-1, I like it.|
My Adonis 19/1
The horses are coming out to the track for the 144th running of the Belmont. Frank Sinatra is playing over the P.A.
As the odds have shifted after the seismic loss of I'll Have Another, there is no HUGE upset on the board.
The Giants' coach hollers out the "Riders Up!" He wants the horses to reach the finish line 5 minutes before post time or he'll be issuing fines.
He's trending on Twitter. His height, in relation to the jockeys, is the topic of most of these tweets. FYI.
The jockeys set to mount up for the Belmont Stakes are ready to ride and preparing to receive final instructions.
Both Dullahan and Union Rags are at 5/2, per NBC.
|@ SITimLayden : Very modest crowd in Belmont paddock to say so long to I'll Have Another . A smattering of boos, but mostly golf applause|
12. My Adonis 19/1
Desert Blanc takes it, followed by Papaw Bodie and Boisterous.
|@ WillySal89 : Belmont usually produces big underdogs. Thinking Street Life or Optimizer are worth looks. Paynter looks solid, but 7/2 odds are weak.|