The world of horse racing is stirring with anticipation of being on the threshold of a long awaited Triple Crown winner. Say what? – 34 years have passed since the last! That means that almost ALL of the horses alive today were not born yet when Affirmed nipped Alydar for the crown in 1978. Sadly, the last Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, passed away on May 7, 2002.
And since that last Triple Crown win, 11 horses won the Derby and the Preakness but failed to win the Belmont. And to add insult to injury 8 finished in the money just behind the winner.
So before we go overboard and purchase our new vanity license tag “IL-1/2-1-2″ (I’ll Have One Too) or name one of our children “Another” so we can brag that we “Had Another”, lets take a look where he fits into the list of 11 past winners and ask, “Does he have a chance?”
First let’s analyze it mathematically. Only 3 TC winners had faster Derby times and only 3 had faster Preakness times. And an interesting note: I’ll Have Another ran the fastest of all 11 in his last prep race before the Derby. His win percentage at the time of the Belmont is about in the middle of the pack of 11 TC winners. Oh, and did you know that in his first 2 legs of the Triple Crown he raced (and beat) more total horses than any TC champ before him?
Lately, the big argument has been that Dullahan and Union Rags are coming back into the mix and that will stop I’ll Have Another from getting his spotlight in history. Well, he beat them once and he can surely do it again.
The one thing that all the past Triple Crown winners do have in common is the special “will to win”! Some horses have it, many don’t – but after watching the thrilling come from behind finishes that have been displayed by this champion, the size of his heart is obvious.
And about that name, how appropriate, with so many millions of thoroughbred race fans longing for another Triple Crown Champion, we can all say “We’ll Have Another, Please!”