05/30/2012 2:45PM

Belmont Stakes 2012: Triple Crown club ready for a new member

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Susie Raisher/NYRA
I'll Have Another trains Monday at Belmont Park. The connections of the last Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, are rooting for I'll Have Another to complete the sweep.

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.”

[I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown]

“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.”

[BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds]

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.

lonnie s More than 1 year ago
I will be betting on Ill Have Another thats a fact......go gettem Ole Red....
lonnie s More than 1 year ago
I will be betting on Ill Have Another thats a fact.......bring it home old red....
Jimee63 More than 1 year ago
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.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
All three Triple Crown winners in the 1970s were great horses. Secretariat's feat in the Belmont does not negate Affirmed's own greatness in any way. Being a Triple Crown winner was a great accomplishment, not matter which TC winner we are talking about. Secretariat's Belmont may never be matched, and that is okay. There is beauty evidenced by the horses involved when you look back at all of the TC challenges. Good luck I'll Have Another in winning the 2012 Belmont Stakes and 2012 Triple Crown!
Tom More than 1 year ago
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1019653/index.htm
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Okay, I was finally able to pull up this link online. You have a good point, Mrs. Chenery obviously forgot Lucien Laurin had a black mark in his background when destiny intervened on his behalf and he was given Riva Ridge to train during RR's Triple Crown challenge, and then the next year guided Secretariat to his record-breaking Triple Crown victory. I'm sure someone has pointed out this mistake to Mrs. Chenery by now. Maybe she will issue an apology publicly - I'm sure she's probably already given one to Mr. Reddam personally. Let's hope so.
Tom More than 1 year ago
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
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
That link doesn't show anything about horses or trainers that I can find. Are you bored and just want to stir something with a stick?
Tom More than 1 year ago
Try these. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2194&dat=19400622&id=yAEvAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xtsFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3677,4374161 http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1019653/index.htm
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
The two links below either don't work or just takes you to a search page, Kalar. I think you were right, this person was just bored and was trying to stir up some trouble.
Jim Pappas More than 1 year ago
look on dam side and who do you see? Alydar
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Look at Unstoppable U. You have Naseem, Point Given, Northern Dancer, Spectacular Bid, Thunder Gulch, Seattle Slew, Mr. Prospector. UU may not be ready for prime time but he sure does have awesome bloodlines. Wish I was more familiar with the mares histories. Genes are funny things. :)
Sam Shelby More than 1 year ago
IHA tremendously game. There's never any guarantee any horse will win the Belmont but to mindlessly throw out IHA is insane.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
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!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Tom - You are wrong... Ask Seth Hancock about his Daddy and Penny and the coin toss.
Tom More than 1 year ago
Good God you can't even get theb fictional facts of that movie correct. It was Bull Hancock dummy. as I said she owned him.A
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Bull was Seth's Daddy. Signed, Chad the dummy.
Tom More than 1 year ago
SO!
Tom More than 1 year ago
TYPO's in previous post. good God you can't even get the fictional facts of that movie correct. It was Bull Hancock dummy. as I said she NEVER owned him.
Kalar Walters More than 1 year ago
Chad, I told my sister about this 'owner' business. Long story but she said, "I would love to see him say that to Penny's face." LOL :D
Craig More than 1 year ago
Tom,I thought it was old man Phipps who lost the coin toss.
trytrytryx3 More than 1 year ago
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.
Tom More than 1 year ago
So what does this have to do with the fact that she never owned him?