‘I’ll Have Another’ Wins Preakness, Now Just 1.5 Miles Away From The Triple Crown

It’s been 34 years since the world of Thoroughbred horse racing had a Triple Crown winner, since then 11 horses have won the first two legs of the test only to fall short at the Belmont. This year, a horse with a name that  appeals to bar patrons everywhere has a chance:

The 2012 Preakness was billed as a rematch between Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another and runner-up Bodemeister.

It was exactly that. I’ll Have Another caught Bodemeister at the wire today to win the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and the first two races of the Triple Crown. He will go to the Belmont looking to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.

Eleven horses have won the first two stops on the Triple Crown chase since Affirmed. Big Brown in 2008 was the last. I’ll Have Another trainer Doug O’Neill has repeatedly said his colt is good enough to head to the Belmont with a chance at breaking the 33-year drought and proving that the Triple Crown can still be accomplished.

We’ll find out on June 9th. I remember when Affirmed pulled the deed off in 1978, only a year after Seattle Slew had done it in 1977 and 5 years after Secretariat. Since then, horse racing has somewhat faded from the popular culture, but I’m thinking we’ll see a burst of publicity over the next three weeks or so. The Belmont Stakes is a different race than the two that have been run so far, a quarter mile longer than the Derby and 5/16’s of a mile longer than the Preakness, which is one of the reasons it’s been the downfall of 11 contenders over 34 years. So, there’s no guarantees here. But, with a name like ‘I’ll Have Another’, how can you not root for the guy?

Photo via Associated Press

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Jeremy says:

    Horse racing is like the Atlanta Braves. Nobody cares.

  2. Brian says:

    Sorry Jeremy, just because you don’t care, doesn’t mean no one cares. City boy? I have a grandson of Native Dancer, who did not win the triple, but was a monster throughout his career. My horse was a rescue, and long story short has transformed from a race horse to hunter-jumper to endurance horse to retired. What an incredible athlete, and still a gentle soul. So yes, no one cares.

  3. Mutaman says:

    On one side we have the thoroughbred: Brave, beautiful, and athletic. On the other hand we have Jeremy. Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

  4. @Mutaman:

    Jermey’s just jealous that no matter how well he does his job, he’ll never be put out to stud for it.

  5. The Florida Masochist says:

    Horse racing hasn’t just faded, but its dying. The NYRA went bankrupt a few years ago, major racetracks across the country have closed, Pimlico host to the Preakness has been in dire financial trouble. Other tracks are just holding up because of other gambling that takes place at the track. In other words if not for the casino on the grounds, places like Pompano Park 40 miles from my home and a place I’ve been to hundreds of times, might be shuttered now.

    I grew up doing more than watch racing on tv. My father owned harness horses for 30 years. We had the 2nd place finisher(Fast Clip was his name and Strike Out was the winner) in the 1972 Little Brown Jug. The Jug is Pacing’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. We broke a world record at the time but still lost the race. The death of horse racing saddens me.

  6. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @The Florida Masochist: It is sad. Longacres race track went the way of maximizing the utility of the producer a long time ago now and Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA, never caught on the same way. Seattle was always a tough market because the weather is so-so, but it is still sad.

  7. KariQ says:

    His pedigree is a little light to get the mile and a half, but it’d be good to see.