With I'll Have Another making his final racetrack trip today in a farewell ceremony before the 144th Belmont Stakes, it's hard to believe that a scant 5 weeks ago he was a no-hope #19 going to post in the Kentucky Derby, despite having won the Santa Anita Derby over the more highly regarded Creative Cause. His strong run down the Churchill stretch to collar Bodemeister kicked off a magical Triple Crown season that sadly ends in disappointment once again. Unlike Smarty Jones, Big Brown, War Emblem or Funny Cide, who went down to defeat in the Belmont, the tragedy of I'll Have Another is that he never got the chance to even try the Test of the Champion. The tyranny of "What If?" will follow him the rest of his days, and racing fans won't soon forget the way we felt the day he was suddenly retired, only 24 hours before his legend-making run.
So here on this beautiful Belmont day, are the reasons why we'll miss I'll Have Another. Best of luck, boy - it was a helluva run!
Oh, what might have been...
-- Candice Curtis
All Photos by Eclipse Sportswire