05/22/2012 11:41AM

Triple Crown Stoppers

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Since Affirmed became the 11th and last to sweep the Triple Crown in 1978, 11 horses were denied a Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont Stakes. As it turns out, the majority of the winners of these Triple Crown-denying Belmonts had something in common: They were already experienced under Triple Crown fire.

The 11 since Affirmed who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but came up short in the Belmont, and the winners of those Belmonts, were:

Spectacular Bid – Coastal (1979)

Pleasant Colony – Summing (1981)

Alysheba – Bet Twice (1987)

Sunday Silence – Easy Goer (1989)

Silver Charm – Touch Gold (1997)

Real Quiet – Victory Gallop (1998)

Charismatic – Lemon Drop Kid (1999)

War Emblem – Sarava (2002)

Funny Cide – Empire Maker (2003)

Smarty Jones – Birdstone (2004)

Big Brown – Da’ Tara (2008)

Only four of these Triple Crown stoppers were newcomers to the Triple Crown – Coastal, Summing, Sarava, and Da’ Tara. Coastal (especially) and Summing were well regarded colts. Coastal was second choice in his Belmont by a long way at 4-1, while Summing was third choice among 10 betting interests at a tick under 8-1. But Sarava and Da’ Tara were major surprises. Da’ Tara went off at 38-1, while Sarava was the biggest price winner ever in the Belmont at 70-1.

But the other seven of these Triple Crown stoppers were already known Triple Crown figures, and a few were very familiar. Bet Twice, Easy Goer, and Victory Gallop all finished second in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and were the only ones in this group who started in the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Empire Maker finished second in the Kentucky Derby. Touch Gold finished fourth in the Preakness (and to this day I maintain he was unquestionably best in that race). Birdstone finished eighth in the Derby, and Lemon Drop Kid was ninth in the Derby.

The big question looming over the game from now until the early evening of June 9 is who might be capable of denying I’ll Have Another a sweep of the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, if anyone. With all due respect to the promising, but unseasoned Paynter, it would seem that the most likely suspects would be those we have already seen in the Triple Crown. As of this writing, that would be Dullahan (third in the Kentucky Derby), Union Rags (seventh in the Derby), Rousing Sermon (eighth in the Derby), Optimizer (11th in the Derby, sixth in the Preakness), and Alpha (12th in the Derby).

Of course, there is a huge difference between being a potential upsetter, and actually being an upsetter.

R. Martin More than 1 year ago
Every year has potential upsetters. Trainer Matz and 2011 champion Union Rags (a stalker) is one. Deep closer Dullahan is another talented and classy competitor. And Sir Lukas may surprise with his 2012 version of Commendable in Optimizer. The Belmont is never a cinch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
2012 Upsetters List: The Stalker: Union Rags The Closer: Dullahan Lukas Bomb:Optimizer
Monty Fisher More than 1 year ago
Even though I'll Have Another has had to beat 20 more horses than Affirmed did to win both Derby & Preakness this Belmont field is relatively weak. Union Rags way overated, the only horse i would be looking over my shoulder for is Dullahan, and I think I'll Have Another can handle him ! We're looking at a true super star here and extremely underrated, possibly because of his $35 k blue light special price tag. " I'll Have Another " and Another June 9th at Belmont. Go Mario !
Jack More than 1 year ago
WINNER-I'LL HAVE ANOTHER-BET THE BANK. 34 IS THE #, I KNOW IT IS.
Jack More than 1 year ago
we are in, the drought is over, 34 year. BET THE BANK.
MazDerby More than 1 year ago
Awesome videos. Just awesome, I may have lost on each occasion and each non triple-crown-Belmont-day but I'm usually standing near the finish line on each occasion and it truly is priceless. Luckily we have Preakness day to capitalize on.
steven More than 1 year ago
On the contrary lets hype the Belmont and IHA as much as possible cause when he gets beat I want to take down the entire pool. There are only 11 triple crown winners for a reason and many talented horses have lost the third leg for logical reasons.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
A lot of the Triple Crown winners lucked out and beat very short fields in the Belmont Stakes. If he wins the Triple Crown, I'll Have Another will be know as the Triple Crown winner who defeated 40 total runners in the 3 races, by far the highest total of all Triple Crown winners.
Monty Fisher More than 1 year ago
Right on Grass is Greener ! I don't know what this animal needs to do, to get respect. Well, I guess I do, and he will have "Another", WIN at the Belmont. Who's gonna beat him, N/A ! Go Mario !
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Hello. I just read that Drosselmeyer will race again In2012. Would appreciate if anyone has info. Love that horse, and cashed a big ticket in the classic. Thank you all.
jttdmd More than 1 year ago
I'm still living on the winnings from the Bet Twice Belmont.
Nicholas Briglia More than 1 year ago
8-1 was sweet. I think the exacta with Cryptoclearance was around 150.
Bryan More than 1 year ago
it will all end up in tragedy of some sort, it will get hype, build up, new fans, t-shirts , and then something will happen, he will lose, breakdown or a horse spill or something, what should be a great day for us players always turns into a story line for those against horse racing, IHA will be 1-9, Rags 7-1 and Dully 12-1 all others 60-1 to 99-1, if Watchmaker gives 4-5 he will either go to prison broke or be a ba-zillionaire when IHA stumbles or breaks down, lets keep the Belmont under the radar til its over we don't need the bad press
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
IHA should go off at about 3-2.
Monty Fisher More than 1 year ago
No matter what the odd's "I'll Have Another" will win ! I smell another Hollywood movie, we have only scratched the surface on this incredible colt !
R. Martin More than 1 year ago
My Line: I'll Have Another 2/5 (72%) Union Rags 7/1 (12%) Dullahan 7/1 (12%) Paynter 19/1 (05%) Street Life 19/1 (05%) Optimizer 24/1 (04%) Unstoppable U 33/1 (03%) Atigun 33/1 (03%) Five Sixteen 49/1 (02%) Ravelo's Boy 99/1 (01%) Guyana Star 99/1 (01%)