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HRN Original Blog:
Behind the Scenes at the Kentucky Derby

I'll Have Another - Triumph Turned to Sadness

As many of you know, this is the first year I am covering horse racing full-time. If you're not into reading sentimental stuff, then brace yourself for the next few paragraphs. I've been dreaming since May 5th that I would finally be able to see a Triple Crown Winner in my lifetime.

I couldn't bare to watch The Preakness in public because I was too excited of what the possibility of this horse could mean not only to me but the struggling horse industry. My ultimate goal and prospective of why I want to cover horse racing as a career is to bring the audience of horse racing to a new level and a spread it to a new age level. Anyway, like I was saying, I couldn't bare to watch the Preakness in public because I was nervous. Shouldn't Doug O'Neill, Mr. Reddam, and Mario Gutierrez be the nervous ones? No. I was nervous because I knew if I'll Have Another won the Preakeness, the horse industry would see a completely new audience, one they have been striving for.

Fast forward to the beginning of this week - it is estimated over 120,000 people will attend the Belmont Stakes. Over 120,000 people would attend a sporting event in which some people said was dying. I was selfishly thinking this would be giving a big explicit sign to all the naysayers of the sport. This is what my ultimate goal of writing about this sport would be.

Yes, I'll Have Another will just be the third horse to have an opportunity at winning the Triple Crown to not compete in the Belmont Stakes due to injury and this is the best option FOR THE HORSE. Selfishly, we all have to remember that is the most important part about this sport. Would we have rather seen this happen or I'll Have Another possibly break down at the top of the stretch?

To say I am crushed by this news will not do it justice. Crushed, saddened, upset, mad, sick to my stomach all ring out as what I am feeling right now. But one other adjective describes this situation that I haven't mentioned, and that is thankful. I am so thankful for the opportunity the whole O'Neill stable was able to give the sport of horse racing with I'll Have Another. I am thankful for the opportunity to view this horse up close prior to the Kentucky Derby. I am so thankful that nothing catastrophic happened to I'll Have Another with this injury. Finally, I am so thankful that next year we will see a new crop of 3-year-olds that will be given the opportunity to try for the Triple Crown.

 

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Older Comments about I'll Have Another - Triumph Turned to Sadness...

Yes, wait 'til next year, indeed! Starting to sound like the Cubs around here... :)
Its a bummer since haven't seen one either, considering I was too young to remember Affirmed. I guess things like this, Real Quiet, the Spectacular Bid safety pin, etc. will make that more magical when it actually does happen.
Just retired, I'll Have Another is awesome horse and I will miss betting and cheering him on. Enjoy retirement good sir.
Sad, sad, sad. I pray that the horse will not be euthanized, and he can go on to a magnificent stud career. God bless I'll have another.
  • Armada · @ cemab4t: Why would they euthanize him? "You don't throw a whole life away just 'cuz their banged up a bit". The injury is /not/ life threatening, but it could be career ending. · 843 days ago

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Meet Kevin Kerstein 

Long story short, I took the long road getting involved in the industry. I did not get into horse racing until 2008 when I came to Louisville for college.

I'm originally from outside of Philadelphia and attend college at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Since I was 15 I was involved with working in radio and TV. I first covered horse racing at the 2011 Kentucky Derby and my passion just continues to grow. Let the early mornings begin and the Derby fever heat up as we hit the backside to get the exclusive stories leading up to the first Saturday in May.  

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