The 2012 Belmont Stakes is just a week away, but the talk of the town is still I’ll Have Another, who is one of the top horses that we have seen in quite some time. He going to try to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed got the job done in 1978. Since then, many have tried, but all have failed. Will I’ll Have Another be a different story? Check out our initial Belmont Stakes predictions for what we think I’ll Have Another will do in this race.
The one thing that we know without a shadow of a doubt is that the field in the 2012 Belmont Stakes just isn’t as good as it has been in years past. There are a ton of horses that just don’t feel like they belong in this race, and that is really going to limit the field of real contenders that have a shot at beating the Belmont Stakes odds. This isn’t like the Kentucky Derby, which had a good dozen horses that could have legitimately won the race, or the Preakness Stakes, where Bodemeister was the clear choice to try to beat I’ll Have Another. There really isn’t a clear cut horse that could challenge I’ll Have Another in this one, and there really are only a few that we could see even remotely running with him.
Of course, the two horses that we are going to be watching out for are Union Rags and Dullahan. These are the only two colts that were in the Kentucky Derby that were real challengers. We didn’t see the best out of Union Rags in that race, and it is clear that this horse is going in the wrong direction in his career. Meanwhile, Dullahan is the serious challenger in our eyes, and he is going to be the second favorite on the Belmont Stakes betting lines at the end.
The key is really going to be how many horses are going to challenge Dullahan as the big time closer in this field. There are others that are going to try to run the same type of race, but that isn’t going to cut it in all likelihood. There won’t be as much traffic for Dullahan to get through to get up to the top of the field, but he wasn’t good enough to get past I’ll Have Another in the Kentucky Derby.
So what type of race will I’ll Have Another be running? Just like at the Preakness Stakes, there is a clear cut front runner in Paynter, and there are others that are going to probably jolt to the lead as well. However, we just don’t know whether any of them are going to be able to last for the full 1 ½ miles. Of course, no one is really sure about any horse until he actually runs this distance, but from what we have seen from I’ll Have Another, there is no doubt that he should last for the distance.
Look for I’ll Have Another to more or less stalk the lead and sit down in the fifth or sixth place position to start, and as the horses start to turn for home, he’ll probably be on the board already. The jolt will come at that point from jockey Mario Gutierrez, who is really trying to make a name for himself as well. And then comes the question. Will I’ll Have Another be able to get to the front of the pack? And if he gets there, will he be able to fend off Dullahan and the other closers?
Those are the questions that will be answered on Saturday, July 9th, when I’ll Have Another goes off the board as approximately an odds on favorite on the odds to win the 144th Belmont Stakes!
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.