May 19, 2012;Baltimore, MD, USA; Mario Gutierrez aboard I'll Have Another (9) beats Mike E. Smith aboard Bodemeister (7) to win the running of the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
The third and final leg of the Triple Crown is the Belmont Stakes on June 9. The early odds show I'll Have Another as the clear betting favorite to win the Triple Crown.
I'll Have Another was never expected to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Although some of the favorites scratched from Saturday's Preakness Stakes, he wasn't the favorite to win that one, either. But thanks to a pair of breathtaking last-second sprints, I'll Have Another has captured the first two legs of the Triple Crown and is just one win away from clinching a title that hasn't been held in over 30 years.
The last horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in a single year was Affirmed, who accomplished the feat in 1978. Seattle Slew had won the Triple Crown in 1977, meaning there were back-to-back years of Triple Crown winners. After that, nothing. Now I'll Have Another is close.
The 2012 Belmont Stakes will take place on June 9 in New York and I'll Have Another will be going for the whole enchilada. What's more, Kentucky Derby and Preakness favorite Bodemeister has pulled out of the Belmont.
The early odds for the Belmont have I'll Have Another as the clear favorite for the first time, at 3-2 to win. Next up is Union Rags, who was a favorite in the Kentucky Derby but had a disappointing finish and then skipped the Preakness. Union Rags is 9-2, followed by Dullahan at 5-1 and Paynter at 6-1. Those odds will certainly fluctuate over the next weeks, but I'll Have Another will likely remain the favorite up until the race begins.
For lots more on the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown, please visit And Down the Stretch they Come.