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.