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Belmont Stakes 2012: Triple Crown club ready for a new member
By Jay Privman
The time has arrived, Patrice Wolfson said Wednesday, to pass the Triple Crown torch. Wolfson and her late husband, Lou, owned the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes in 1978. The torch has been in her hands so long, she might have third-degree burns.
But on a national teleconference Wednesday featuring Triple Crown winners from the 1970s, Wolfson said she will be rooting for I’ll Have Another to join Affirmed and the 10 other horses who have captured the Triple Crown when he competes in the 144th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9.
Wolfson said “There’s something about this chestnut” that reminds her of Affirmed, who, like I’ll Have Another, was a chestnut-colored colt.
They have more in common than looks. They also share some blood. I’ll Have Another’s great, great grandsire is Raise a Native, the grandsire of Affirmed.
“And maybe it’s just time,” Wolfson said. “Racing needs a star.”
Wolfson said that I’ll Have Another “has got tenacity.”
“It looks like he’ll be a good successor if it comes about,” she said. “There were times I didn’t think I was ready to relinquish it. I’m ready now. I’ve watched him gallop on television, and he sure strides out beautifully when he gallops.”
Steve Cauthen, who was just 18 when he rode Affirmed, said he also sees similarities between Affirmed and I’ll Have Another.
“He has a lot of try in him,” Cauthen said. “You could tell the way he dug in at the Derby, and especially the Preakness. He likes a battle. He’s very relaxed like Affirmed was. Nothing seems to bother him.”
Cauthen said he also is pulling for a Triple Crown.
“The last thing you would want to do is root against somebody succeeding,” Cauthen said. “It’s so difficult to do.”
“I’m ready to pass it on. Doug O’Neill,” Cauthen said, referring to the trainer of I’ll Have Another, “I’ve been impressed with him. Mario Gutierrez seems like a great kid. I admire the confidence and the relaxed attitude he has. I’m rooting for them 100 percent. I hope it works out.”
Cauthen said that for a horse to sweep the Triple Crown, “you have to have everything go right.”
“The stars have to be aligned,” he said.
Since Affirmed became the 11th Triple Crown winner, another 11 horses – not including I’ll Have Another – have won the Derby and Preakness and then failed in the Belmont. So, I’ll Have Another will become the 12th Triple Crown winner, or the 12th horse since Affirmed to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown before faltering in the Belmont.
Those who have been there know just how difficult a feat it is to achieve.
“It’s so hard to do, I’ll be shocked when it’s done again,” said Penny Chenery, who owned Secretariat.
I will be betting on Ill Have Another thats a fact......go gettem Ole Red....
I will be betting on Ill Have Another thats a fact.......bring it home old red....
Good luck to IHA in his bid to join the "club". His running style indicates he has a formidable task ahead of him. The last 3 Triple Crown winners pretty much won the Belmont on the front end. Having Affirmed in his bloodline doesn't hurt but time for time Secretariat won the Belmont in a time which was 14 lenghts better than Affirmed's time.
Glass houses: Penny Tweedy badmouthed Redman for using Doug O'Neall as his trainer. Well her trainer Lucien Laurin was no saint, he was cauight using a battery on a horse when he was a jockey in 1938. So it looks like the old horse dentist was right. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1019653/index.htm
look on dam side and who do you see? Alydar
IHA tremendously game. There's never any guarantee any horse will win the Belmont but to mindlessly throw out IHA is insane.
Very nice article! Thank you Patrice Wolfson and Steve Cauthen for your wonderful words about I'll Have Another. It's lovely to see the connections of Affirmed wishing IHA good luck in the Belmont Stakes. Mrs. Wolfson is right, it's hard not to pull for this chestnut colt - he's very likable!
Tom - You are wrong... Ask Seth Hancock about his Daddy and Penny and the coin toss.
Tom what are you taking about? Helen “Penny” Chenery, whose captivating charm and enthusiasm as the owner of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat earned her the unofficial title of “First Lady of Racing,” was honored with the Eclipse Award of Merit for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in Thoroughbred racing.
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