Union Rags Cleans Up Paynter, Wins Belmont Stakes

Union Rags edged Paynter in a thrilling race at Belmont Park, though some of the luster was lost with I'll Have Another's scratch, denying a Triple Crown bid again this year.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: Union Rags Tries To Challenge I'll Have Another For Horse Of The Year

With his thrilling win at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, Union Rags moved into position as the top 3-year-old colt after the retirement of I'll Have Another. While the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner is a favorite to win the Eclipse Award for horse of the year, Union Rags does have an opportunity to surpass the retired colt with a strong finish. Michael Matz, the trainer of the Belmont winner thinks his colt has a shot to challenge for the award. Via Reid Cherner of USA Today:

"It all depends on how we finish the season," said trainer Michael Matz about winning the Eclipse Award as top 3-year-old and Horse of the Year. "Who knows what could go on? We're not throwing in the towel by any means."

Union Rags promptly returned to his home in rural Fair Hill, Md. after his win Saturday afternoon. The colt will run again this summer, with Matz pegging his next race at one of two tracks -- either the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 28 or The Haskell at Monmouth Park on July 29. After that, he will target the Travers Stakes on August 25 at Saratoga.

For more post-race coverage of the Belmont Stakes, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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2012 Belmont Stakes Ratings: Despite Loss Of I'll Have Another's Triple Crown Bid, Good Numbers

I'll Have Another looked poised to make a run at the Triple Crown at the 2012 Belmont Stakes, and leave broadcaster NBC with an unequivocal ratings victory. Instead, I'll Have Another was scratched, leaving the field without both the winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby and the 2012 Preakness Stakes, as well as Bodemeister, who finished second in both of those races.

And yet, people still tuned in to NBC en masse to see Union Rags win, giving the Belmont Stakes its best rating for a non-Triple Crown bid since 2005. The event pulled a 5.4 overnight rating and a 13 share, 13 percent better than the ratings for the 2011 Belmont Stakes, and 74 percent better than the ratings for the 2010 Belmont Stakes on ABC.

But those numbers lag well behind the numbers for a Triple Crown bid: Big Brown's failed attempt to win the Belmont Stakes in 2008 drew a whopping 9.5 rating/21 share for ABC.

For more post-race coverage of the Belmont Stakes, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: Union Rags Finally Gets A Clean Trip

He was considered one of the best two-year-old colts in the country. He finished second to Hansen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after racing wide almost the entire way around the track. He debuted as a three-year-old in the Fountain of Youth Stakes and rolled to a victory under Julien Leparoux. Then, everything starting going wrong for Union Rags.

The son of Dixie Union, the winter book favorite for the Kentucky Derby, made his final pre-Derby prep in the Florida Derby and encountered a disastrous trip all the way around the track. A month later at Churchill Downs, another bad trip that left Union Rags without a chance to make any meaningful impact. Then he came to Belmont.

Prior to the Belmont Stakes, trainer Michael Matz decided to take Julien Leparoux off of Union Rags and put John Velazquez in the irons. The results were exactly what Matz was looking for.

Union Rags produced a strong run along the rail to get by the pace setter, Paynter, to win the 2012 Belmont Stakes and exact a bit of redemption after a disappointing spring. Paynter, owned, trained and ridden by the same connections of Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister, looked like a certain winner at the top of the stretch, extending his lead to three lengths over his rivals. But jockey Mike Smith wasn’t able to keep Paynter close to the rail and Union Rags exploited the opening in the final 100 yards to get up at the wire.

With the end of the Triple Crown season we now look forward to this three-year-old class taking on older horses as they point towards the Breeders’ Cup in early November. While I’ll Have Another is retired, we still have Bodemeister, Union Rags and Paynter to look forward to over the next six months.

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Belmont Stakes 2012 Video: Watch Union Rags Win

I'll Have Another's scratch took a bit of the luster off the 2012 Belmont Stakes but, with a strong field of horses and close betting lines, the race still had plenty of intrigue. Union Rags and Dullahan entered the race as favorites, with Paynter close behind.


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Paynter got off to a fast start and led the pack through the first quarter of a mile, with Union Rags and Dullahan both sitting comfortably in the middle after solid starts out of the gate. Paynter continued to lead all the way into the final stretch, with Union Rags coming up on the inside. It looked like Paynter was going to hold on until all but about 100 yards remained, when Union Rags surged past, winning at the line by a nose. Atigun finished in third.

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Dullahan, the co-favorite along with Union Rags, never really got going and was left behind when the pace picked up.

For more post-race coverage of the Belmont Stakes, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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2012 Belmont Stakes Results: Union Rags Edges Paynter For The Win

Video: Watch Union Rags win the Belmont.

With I'll Have Another out of the Belmont Stakes, retired after suffering a surprising tendon injury, the scene at Belmont Park was more subdued than expected, a product of another year without a Triple Crown. The shocking scratch turned a weekend full of promise and intrigue into, well, just another race in some regards. But it's still the Belmont, and still the toughest test in horse racing.


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Dullahan and Union Rags benefited the most from I'll Have Another's scratch, each assuming the favorite role as a result. Simply judging by the odds, these two were the horses to beat as the call to the post rang out.

As they broke from the starting gate, Paynter immediately broke fast from the outside as expected and led them to the first turn with Union Rags about three lengths off, followed closely by Dullahan. Paynter, the pace-setter, was followed by Optimizer, Unstoppable U and My Adonis down the backstretch, with Union Rags close behind. Dullahan, however, fell off and was second-to-last heading toward the final turn, seven lengths back.

Rounding the final turn, Paynter continued to hold his lead, followed by Unstoppable U and My Adonis with Union Rags on their tails. From the inside, Union Rags reeled in Paynter, snaking along the rail with about 100 yards to go.

At the wire, it was Union Rags, making its run and nipping Paynter, who nearly took it wire-to-wire, to win the Belmont Stakes.

For more on the Belmont Stakes, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: Betting Strategy

More: Latest Belmont odds are here.

The scratch of Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another leaves a big hole in the betting for the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Dullahan is your new morning line favorite at odds of 9/5, with Union Rags and Paynter the second and third choice on the board.

There are a couple of different strategies that players can employ to try and make some decent money on the Belmont. The first is simply playing the long shot horses to win. As pointed out by Andrew Beyer at the Daily Racing Form, had a player put a $2 win bet on every horse to run in the Belmont in the last 15 years, they would have doubled their money over the last ten years. Those are pretty remarkable numbers and the direct result of a parade of big priced horses winning the Belmont in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004 and 2002. In all seven of those years the winning horses paid a minimum of $25 for a $2 win bet.

If just placing random bets on the longest shots on the tote board doesn't appeal to you, the exotic wagers offer an opportunity to generate value off of your actual handicapping opinions. Since 2000, the median $2 exacta payout at the Belmont is a robust $130, which is incredibly strong. Even the years where a low priced horses has won the race, the exata has still paid in the$30 to $40 range. If you like Dullahan to win, you could play an exacta with the favorite on top and a couple of the mid-price horses underneath. And then as protection for an upset, you could play the reverse for a smaller amount. Below is an example of what an exacta play with Dullahan as the key horse might look like:

$10 Exacta: Dullahan over Paynter and Street Life (Total cost: $20)
$5 Exacta: Paynter and Street Life over Dullahan (Total cost: $10)

In the above scenario, the player has $30 in bets with the majority of his money on the combination with Dullahan in the win position. You always want to bet your strongest opinion for the most money, and your weaker or "back-up" tickets for smaller amounts.



The above wagers would pay out in the following situations:

  • If Dullahan were to win and Paynter finishes second, the player has the exacta for $10, or 5 times the $2 base.
  • If Dullahan were to win and Street Life finishes second, the player has the exacta for $10, or 5 times the $2 base.
  • If Paynter were to win and Dullahan finishes second, the player has the exacta for $5, or 2.5 times the $2 base.
  • If Street Life were to win and Dullahan finishes second, the player has the exacta for $5, or 2.5 times the $2 base.
  • If either Paynter or Street Life win and one of those same two horses finishes second, the player would not hold a winning ticket.

The player is vulnerable in the situation where Dullahan doesn't finish in the top 2 but this strategy is relying on a player's opinions, not simply hoping for a lucky finish. You could "box" all three horses in a $2 exacta which would ensure that you'd hold the winning ticket as long as any two of the three finish first and second. But boxing tends to increase the cost of the bet AND it prevents the player from wagering different amounts on different combinations (like the example above).

The strategy utilized above can be extrapolated to trifectas, perfectas and daily doubles. The goal, as always, is to have your bets working for your strongest opinions.

At the end of the day the most important piece of wagering strategy is this: if you have a strong opinion, play it for the most money.

Below is a chart summarizing the median, high and low payouts for various wagers at the Belmont Stakes since 2000.

Bet Median High Low
$2 Win $26.90 $142.50 $4.30
$2 Exacta $130.00 $2,454.00 $20.60
$2 Trifecta $1,007.50 $25,209.00 $67.50
$2 Super $10,658.00 $145,334.00 $183.50
$1 Pick3 $1,288.50 $3,237.50 $42.00
$1 Pick4 $3,654.50 $17,143.50 $135.50
$2 Pick6 $20,530.00 $969,345.00 $900.00
$2 DD $152.50 $1,988.00 $16.00
$2 Brklyn/Bel DD $383.00 $550.00 $20.20

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Behind The Belmont: Documenting What Makes The Race Uniquely Difficult

I'll Have Another won't be running in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, having been scratched due to injury. That will make the Belmont a little less exciting, given how good a chance I'll Have Another seemed to have to win the first Triple Crown in 34 years. But it may not make the race less dramatic, as SB Nation's YouTube channel explains in a behind-the-scenes look at the Belmont.

"You don't want to miss something like this," says Bill Turner, trainer of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, "because they don't come around very often." He's talking about Triple Crown bids, but he knows full well how tough the Belmont — which John Sabini, chairman of the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, notes "has been known as the 'graveyard of champions' for a reason" — really is: Seattle Slew became the first horse ever to finish the Triple Crown without ever previously suffering a loss in 1977.

Dullahan's trainer, Dale Romans, says that "Most of these horses have never raced a mile and a half, and most of them will never do it again." It's that length, and the occasionally withering June heat on Long Island, that has stopped the many horses that have claimed the first two jewels of the Triple Crown since Affirmed from finishing the feat at Belmont Park.

That won't be what stops I'll Have Another, but interviews with the horse's owner and jockey help explain the immense scrutiny the potential Triple Crown winner and his team were under from the moment they made it to the Belmont.

And as for the likely Saturday favorite, Dullahan, Romans says his charge is "bred to go the distance" in "one of America's great races."

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream; for more on I'll Have Another's injury and retirement, follow this StoryStream. Check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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I'll Have Another Retired From Horse Racing Following Injury

The stunning news this Friday that I'll Have Another would not complete his Triple Crown run at the 2012 Belmont Stakes was not the only shock of the day to the world of thoroughbred racing: I'll Have Another's racing career is over, as he will be retired due to an injury sustained in a Friday practice.

I'll Have Another took the 2012 Kentucky Derby and stormed down the stretch to overtake Bodemeister and win the 2012 Preakness Stakes, setting up the first chance a horse would have had since Big Brown in 2008 to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont. But a tendon injury reportedly suffered in a morning practice led to the horse being scratched from the race, meaning that I'll Have Another will not join the ranks of Triple Crown winners.

In retirement, I'll Have Another could bring millions of dollars in stud fees.

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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VIDEO: Trainer Doug O'Neill Confirms I'll Have Another Out Of Belmont

I'll Have Another trainer Doug O'Neill called into "The Dan Patrick Show" on Friday to confirm the famous horse would be pulling out of Saturday's 2012 Belmont Stakes due to a leg injury. This ensures there will be no Triple Crown winner in 2012.

CSN Chicago supplied a video of the Dan Patrick Show segment on which O'Neill appeared to announce the decision. O'Neill tried to break up the moment with levity, as you can see in the video below.

The New York Racing association announced on their Twitter feed later on Friday that O'Neill's brother Dennis O'Neill has confirmed the news of I'll Have Another's withdrawal from the race.

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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I'll Have Another Scratched From Belmont With Reported Tendon Injury

According to reports on Horse Racing TV (HRTV), it appears that I’ll Have Another has suffered a tendon injury that will not only prevent him from running in the Belmont Stakes but will also likely end his racing career.

A tendon injury is typically not life-threatening, but it is a serious injury and the recovery time can be a minimum of three months or longer. Additionally, due to the importance of the legs of a horse, and the fact that re-injury to a tendon is difficult to correct, top class horses are generally retired even after they have recovered from the initial injury.

A greater explanation of the importance of a horse’s tendon is detailed at the website For The Love of The Horse:

When horses move, their tendons must be flexible enough to stretch and contract within a range of 1 to 3 inches. If a tendon is pushed beyond this linear "stress capacity," tendon injury is likely to occur. Such damage to the tendon usually involves rupture of the tendon fibers. The number of ruptured fibers is directly related to the seriousness of the injury.

With the statement by trainer Doug O’Neill that I’ll Have Another has likely run his last race, it appears that he has suffered a serious injury to the tendon.

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I'll Have Another Scratched From Belmont, According To Trainer

It appears that the world will be without a Triple Crown winner for yet another year, but in an extremely disappointing way. I'll Have Another, the winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has officially been scratched from Saturday's Belmont Stakes, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.

In an interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday, O'Neill confirmed that I'll Have Another has indeed been scratched. O'Neill said, "We ain't taking any chances," and that the scratch "is a bummer, but far from tragic." O'Neill guessed that I'll Have Another has run his last race.

There were rumors of injury swirling on Friday before the announcement, but O'Neill did not mention anything specific leading to the scratch. The I'll Have Another camp has a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. ET to announce the decision.

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: Breaking Down The Draw And The Pace

The entries, post positions and morning line odds are set for Saturday's Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park (post time: 6:40pm Eastern; TV: NBC). I'll Have Another stands on the precipice of American horse racing history if he can successfully navigate the mile and a half Test of Champions on Saturday afternoon.

Let's take a look at the draw and the potential pace scenario for Saturday's big race.

The Draw

Post positions for the Belmont Stakes aren't nearly as critical to a horse's success as they are in the Kentucky Derby, mainly due to a smaller field and a more tepid pace scenario. Wednesday's draw did little to seriously hurt the chances of any of the Belmont contenders, but at the same time, the connections of a few horses are probably a little pleased, or a little disappointed, with the position of their horse in the starting gate.

I'll Have Another: The Derby and Preakness winner drew post position #11 and it's difficult to envision a better spot for the odds-on favorite. In each of his four starts in 2012, all of which are victories, I'll Have Another has raced in the clear to the outside about three or four paths from the rail. Racing wide on the turns hasn't been a problem for this colt in any of his races and he appears to perform at his best when he's able to sit to the outside of his competition.

Street Life: As the deepest of the deep closers in the field, Street Life's connections should be just fine with the rail as it will allow jockey Jose Lezcano to save ground around the entire track. Additionally, the pace scenario - which initially looked to be extremely lacking - received a bit of a boost from the entry of My Adonis (see below), and should help the chances of Street Life.

Union Rags: While there aren't any bad post position draws in the Belmont Stakes, the connection of Union Rags were likely hoping for something a bit better than an inside spot in the starting gate. Union Rags has had all kinds of trouble in his last couple of races as a result of getting boxed in and shuffled back in the early stages. It's unlikely that he'll will experience the same kind of trouble that he encountered in the Florida and Kentucky Derbys, but the #3 post position is certainly not gong to help this colt avoid trouble.

Paynter: One of the strongest contenders of the new shooters, Paynter drew perfectly in the #9 hole from which jockey Mike Smith should be able to determine whether to send his colt hard early, or sit back of the early speed of My Adonis and Unstoppable U.

The Pace

Over much of the last three weeks it appeared that the Belmont field was destined to have very little in the way of early speed. Unstoppable U and Paynter are really the only horses that prefer to display a "need-to-lead" running style and it looked increasingly like there would be little to challenge those two in the early stages. Then, in a last minute move, the connections of My Adonis decided to enter the Belmont and the pace scenario completely changed.

My Adonis is not a "need-to-lead" kind of horse - his preferred running style tends to be stalking/pressing the pace - but he does like to be prominent in the early stages of his races. His addition to the Belmont field (and his #12 post position), helps to ensure that the first quarter of a mile of Saturday's race should at least be honest, if not quick.

Unstoppable U will likely lead the field heading into the first turn, with both Paynter and My Adonis tracking him just to his outside. How much pressure Paynter and My Adonis apply to Unstoppable U will determine just how fast the early pace will end up. Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another should be able to sit back and track the three early leaders right from the starting gate. If the pace is quick, I'll Have Another can hang back and wait to make his move after coming off the far turn. If the pace is very soft, jockey Mario Gutierrez can put I'll Have Another closer to the lead in order to get a jump on the closers at the top of the stretch run.

The addition of My Adonis to the Belmont field is a good thing for I'll Have Another as it helps to ensure that Paynter will have some company in the early stages (as opposed to Paynter tracking the long-shot speed of Unstoppable U all by himself). Anything that is likely to soften up Paynter in the early stages is a huge benefit to the chances of I'll Have Another to win the Belmont and the Triple Crown.

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Triple Crown Winners

The Triple Crown of American horse racing is one of the most difficult feats to accomplish in all of sports. Only 11 colts have successfully navigated the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes over the last century, and all of them are considered among the greatest in the history of the game.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: My Adonis Will Be Part Of Post Position Draw On Wednesday

The 2012 Belmont Stakes got a little tougher for I'll Have Another on Tuesday night when My Adonis was announced as a late entrant before Wednesday's post position drawing. My Adonis' owners are George and Lori Hall, the same owners who won the 2011 Belmont Stakes with Ruler On Ice.

My Adonis was an entrant in the Kentucky Derby, but none of the 20 horses that took part in the race were scratched, leaving the horse on the outside looking in. Instead, My Adonis went on to take third place in the Canonero II Stakes.

Kelly Breen trains the horse, while Ramon Dominguez is expected to be the jockey.

With 12 total horses in the field, I'll Have Another's pursuit of the Triple Crown becomes harder as the time ticks down until the gates open on Saturday.

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: Dullahan Fast In Final Practice

The task before the horses entered in the 2012 Belmont Stakes is a simple one: figure out how on Earth to beat I'll Have Another, who is angling for the first Triple Crown in more than 30 years. Working fast in practice might help.

The horse doing that in final workouts on Sunday morning was Dullahan, who breezed four furlongs in 45.97 seconds and two furlongs in 22.2 seconds, then galloped out five furlongs in 58.91 seconds.

According to BloodHorse.com, Dullahan "breezed so easily it looked as if he was going much slower than he actually was." That's a good sign, probably.

For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find a A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.

And for more on Dullahan, watch his story, via SB Nation's YouTube channel.

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Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another Avoids Freak Training Accident

The horse with a shot at the first Triple Crown since Affirmed almost saw its Belmont Stakes hopes dashed a week and a half before the event, as a riderless horse nearly crashed into I'll Have Another during a training walk.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner was walking a few feet off the outside rail when Isleta, a three-year-old maiden filly, came sprinting by. The horse had shook its rider and charged just to the right of I'll Have Another, grazing the boot of exercise rider Jonny Garcia.

Daily Racing Form had a slideshow of the near miss and an interview with trainer Doug O'Neill:

The fact that the horse was able to avoid the fluke is crucial. Racehorses aren't supposed to run at full speed into each other, and whatever injury I'll Have Another would have sustained if it had been clipped would have probably knocked the horse out of the race and ruined its shot at a Triple Crown, or caused more dire medical consequences. Nobody would've liked to see that, least of all O'Neill. Hopefully, the horse can avoid any other random unseemly situations and run healthily in the Belmont Stakes.

Ed. note: This is just a crazy photo of the riderless horse:

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For more on the world of horse racing, visit And Down The Stretch They Come and stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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Triple Crown 2012: I'll Have Another's Doug O'Neill Meets With Seattle Slew Trainer Billy Turner

The 2012 Belmont Stakes could see history happen on June 9, should I'll Have Another complete the Triple Crown circuit with a victory, but that has been said for many other horses since Affirmed won it in 1978. However, trainer Doug O'Neill turned to Seattle Slew's trainer, Billy Turner, for advice on Tuesday while at Belmont Park. I'll Have Another's team already has the horse running the track at Belmont, which was Turner's main advice to them.

Turner, who guided Seattle Slew to the 1977 Triple Crown, noted that the two horses don't have much in common. Seattle Slew was stubborn whereas I'll Have Another needs little coaxing to do what is asked:

“Both are beautiful movers,” Turner said. “As far as their attitudes and so forth, Slew was a bear of a hose [sic]. This horse seems to do what you ask him to do and he likes to do it, and that’s just the kind of horse you like to train. Slew was a lot of work.”

Will I'll Have Another be able to join Seattle Slew in such elite company? We'll find out in less than two weeks.

For more on the world of horse racing, visit And Down The Stretch They Come and stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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2012 Belmont Stakes: I'll Have Another Trainer Doug O'Neill To Be Suspended After Race

I'll Have Another is attempting to become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown when he runs in the Belmont Stakes next week. Luckily, horses are not easily distracted by off-track legal proceedings. I'll Have Another's trainer, Doug O'Neill, has been suspended by the California racing board because of elevated carbon dioxide detected in another horse, Argenta.

According to the Associated Press, O'Neill will be suspended for 45 days and will be fined $15,000. The suspension will not take effect until after the Belmont Stakes, meaning O'Neill will be able to be present and active when I'll Have Another makes a run at history.

While O'Neill was found to not have personally tampered with Argenta, he was suspended because, as head trainer, he is ultimately responsible for horses under his care.

While elevated carbon dioxide is associated with "milkshaking," the officer agreed with O'Neill that his horse Argenta had not been fed a mixture of bicarbonate of soda, sugar and electrolytes that enhances performance and combats fatigue. The officer did not indicate what might have caused the overage.

"I'm gratified that the CHRB found that I did not "milkshake'' a horse or engage in any intentional conduct that would result in an elevated TC02 level," O'Neill said.

"I know I didn't milkshake a horse. None of us around the barn milkshaked any horses," O'Neill said Wednesday. "You got to have rules and I respect rules, but when you get faulty science involved, it costs a lot of money unfortunately, but you've got to fight it and that's what we're doing."

O'Neill says that he may plan an appeal at a later time, but for now is focusing all of his energy on I'll Have Another and the Belmont Stakes.

You can find the press release of O'Neill's suspension decision here.

For more on the world of horse racing, visit And Down The Stretch They Come and stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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