Well, this blog is a blog I did not want to write. As former NFL wide receiver, Chris Carter said in the NFL Network special, “Missing Rings” (a series about top teams who did not win the Super Bowl), “It’s the unpredictability of team sports.” “That’s the flaw.” “That’s why we turn on the game. “There’s no such thing as sure win.” Well, that pretty much is the mantra for all sports, hockey, baseball, football, etc. I mean, this is not WWE, or other professional wrestling companies.
This mantra is sadly true for horse racing. As I always say, even about NFL games when the ESPN people start “crowning” winners, “You never know what happens once those gates open.” Well, unfortunately, this blog is about a horse who won’t even get INTO the starting gate for tomorrow’s running of the 144th Belmont Stakes, and this scratch is HUGE.
[adinserter block=”2″]The scratch is I’ll Have Another, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner. It means that there will be yet ANOTHER year without a Triple Crown winner. Evidently, per his trainer Doug O’Neill , over the past couple of days, the horse’s left front ankle looked a bit swollen. This morning, at 5:30am, he had the horse gallop. The horse looked fine at first, but then the swelling returned, and had a track veterinarian scan the horse, and they discovered the horse tore a tendon in his left front ankle. His owner, J. P Reddam, and O’Neill decided the horse will not run the Belmont, and will be retired.
Well, this chain of events is the reason that horse racing can be so heartbreaking for fans. A scratch like this is gut wrenching for the sport which has come under fire for its problems concerning drugs, and breakdowns. If I’ll Have Another had won the Triple Crown on Saturday, the sport would have gotten such a boost that it desperately needed. Unfortunately though, there will be those such as PETA, critics of O’Neill who will use this event to bash the sport. I am not saying that the sport does NOT have issues. The sport could use a commissioner ala the NFL, NBA, etc. That way the sport has one ruling entity to deal concerning rules, legality of drugs, etc instead of different rules in 38 states. That is just for starters. My point is that it is sad that there will people who will take advantage of this sad situation for their own personal agenda, and half of them don’t know what they are talking about.
All this is hard on the connections. It has to be so hard for Mr. Reddam, and for trainer O’Neill. Of course, this also shows why winning the Triple Crown is so hard. Not only do you have the right horse, but your horse has to be able to have the stamina to win all three races at various lengths, and stay healthy over the five weeks. It is also hard on the fans who get attached to the horse. I liked I’ll Have Another, but my horse was Bodemeister. However, for those who really loved I’ll Have Another, this has to be hard. I am even sad about it. I wanted to see “Another” make history, so when I heard the news on Twitter, I was stunned, and admittedly heartbroken, as I was just starting to get attached. I’ll Have Another is a cute, smallish chestnut. To see him retire, was very sad. It is very heartbreaking to see an athlete, whether human or equine retire due to injury.
[adinserter block=”1″]Even though fans will have to wait at least another year for a Triple Crown, and the scratch of I’ll Have Another is a huge disappointment, the good news is that the horse is going to be fine. He will go into stud, and hopefully will be successful in his new career. I am very happy that O’Neill and Reddam put the horse’s health first. I will miss him, but I wish him well.
Since there will not be a Crown, my top three for the Belmont are:
Dullahan, Paynter, Union Rags
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead
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