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Belmont Insider

America's Best Racing takes you behind the scenes leading up to I'll Have Another's bid for history in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, giving viewers an insider's perspective with a non-stop series of must-see stories direct from the horses’ connections. We'll take you from the backstretch to the track, get up close and personal with the horses, meet their key connections, and provide expert analysis. Everything you'll need to know to get ready for the big race as I'll Have Another atempts to become the first U.S. Triple Crown winner since 1978. 

View all of the Preakness Insider Exclusives Here!

If you missed any of the Derby Insider videos, the entire catalog of Derby Insider Exclusives can be accessed by clicking Here!

Racing 101: Handicapping Basics

Go behind the scenes at the 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) with Katie Mikolay and Joe Kristufek as they mentor new racing fans on the basics of handicapping and betting.

Union Rags Shows Heart in Stretch

Assistant trainer Peter Brette and jockey John Velazquez share their feelings after Union Rags’ determined victory in the Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday.

First-Hand View of I’ll Have Another Retirement Ceremony

Catch up with the connections of I'll Have Another as they participate in the retirement ceremony for the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes (G1) card.

Dennis O’Neill: ‘So Disappointing’

Dennis O’Neill, who plucked dual classic winner I’ll Have Another out of a two-year-old sale for $35,000, talks about his career-ending injury, the decision to retire the Flower Alley colt on the Friday before his scheduled start in the Belmont Stakes (G1), and the thrilling ride through the 2012 Triple Crown. O’Neill is an assistant to his brother Doug O’Neill, who trained I’ll Have Another for owner J. Paul Reddam.

Bramlage on I’ll Have Another's Injury

Prominent veterinarian Larry Bramlage explains in detail cause and effect of the tendon injury that sidelined I’ll Have Another and led to his retirement.

Ken McPeek discusses I'll Have Another's Retirement

Belmont Stakes-winning trainer Ken McPeek talks about the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the scratch Friday of dual classic winner I’ll Have Another and how difficult it is to make the phone call to an owner to let him know about an injury.

Gutierrez Discusses Sudden Retirement of I’ll Have Another

Jockey Mario Gutierrez, 25, talks about Friday’s shocking news that Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner I’ll Have Another would be forced to miss the Belmont Stakes (G1) with a tendon injury and his subsequent retirement.

Belmont Insider: Reddam's Ride

Owner J. Paul Reddam describes the path to the Belmont Stakes (G1) with I’ll Have Another, who on Saturday at Belmont Park will attempt to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in U.S. Thoroughbred racing history.

Reliving the magic of Affirmed's 1978 Triple Crown

Patrice Wolfson, co-owner with her late husband, Louis, of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed, describes the thrill of winning the 1978 Belmont Stakes (G1) and reminisces about his memorable sweep of the 1978 classics.

The Draw

Scenes from the post position draw for the 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1), including comments from I'll Have Another's trainer, Doug O'Neill.

Insider: McPeek Talks Upset

 Trainer Ken McPeek is very familiar with Belmont Stakes (G1) upsets, having trained 2002 winner Sarava who crossed the finish line first at 70-to-1 odds. McPeek will saddle a pair of three-year-olds on Saturday in the final jewel of the Triple Crown, both of whom he feels have a great chance to score another upset.

Gutierrez the Movie Star

I’ll Have Another’s jockey Mario Gutierrez is enjoying movie-star treatment in New York as he prepares to ride I’ll have Another in his bid to become U.S. Thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. The Empire State Building and New York-style pizza are high on the agenda.

Dale Romans On Dullahan

Trainer Dale Romans discusses Grade 1 winner Dullahan’s preparation entering the 2012 Belmont Stakes (G1) and talks about the role of spoiler in forcing dual classic winner I’ll Have Another to earn his spot in Thoroughbred racing history as a Triple Crown winner.

Sam The Bugler

Belmont Park’s Sam the Bugler describes the thrill of joining dual classic-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez atop the Empire State Building on Tuesday for a unique promotion for the Belmont Stakes (G1).

Dream Race: Simulation of Dual Clasic Winner Belmont

I’ll Have Another is the 12th three-year-old to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Preakness Stakes (G1) since Affirmed last swept the Triple Crown in 1978.  The great Spectacular Bid in 1979 came up short in the Belmont Stakes (G1) as did Pleasant Colony (1981), Alysheba (1987), Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Charismatic (1999), War Emblem (2002), Funny Cide (2003), Smarty Jones (2004), and Big Brown (2008). Which begs the question, who would win in a race between I’ll Have Another and the aforementioned 11 Derby-Preakness winners since Affirmed? Check out this computer simulation to watch the dream race between some of the best three-year-olds of the last 34 years.

Triple Crown Bid: Get Excited

I'll Have Another's attempt to become U.S. Thoroughbred racing's 12th Triple Crown winner is rapidly approaching. At America's Best Racing, we're ready! Are you?

Instant Classic: 1978 Belmont Stakes

Racing Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen recalls Affirmed's 1978 sweep of the Triple Crown, which Cauthen said included the "greatest race I've ever been involved with." Cauthen was on hand at Belmont Park on Saturday signing autographs alongside fellow Hall of Fame jockey Jorge Velasquez, the rider of Affirmed's 1978 Triple Crown rival Alydar.

Matz: Union Rags' Redemption

Trainer Michael Matz reflects on Union Rags' troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby and talks about his hopes for talented Dixie Union colt in the Belmont Stakes on June 9.

I’ll Have Another Draws Outside at Odds-on

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by Marc Doche

I’ll Have Another drew post position 11 on Wednesday at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and was made the 4-to-5 favorite on the morning line in his quest to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years and seal his name in the pantheon of horse racing immortality.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride and it’s all because of the great I’ll Have Another,” trainerDoug O’Neill told Andy Serling after the draw. “His coat continues to shine. We couldn’t have asked for him to come into the race any better.”

In the 144th running of the $1-million Belmont Stakes (G1) against 11 other three-year-olds competing over 1 ½ miles, I’ll Have Another will go to the post as the favorite for the first time in the eighth start of his career.

Click here or the headline to find out which excuses Bob Ehalt's is referring to in his blog.

Ehalt Blog: Excuses, Excuses for I'll Have Another

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by Bob Ehalt

Excuses are imbedded into every imaginable sport, and they fall into a wide variety of categories.

Some are quite valid. Others are flimsy.

There are actually some that come across as a mix of the two.

Horse racing certainly has its share of excuses. Each day, in every race at any track across the nation, there’s a reason why a particular horse failed to win. In most cases, though, virtually no one will ever know why.

Maybe that $10,000 claimer who ran third on Wednesday had missed a couple of days of training because of a fever. That allowance horse, who tired late and finished third, perhaps he was off his feed late last week.

It’s impossible to know everything about every participant in a competitive sport, and anyone who believes that’s unique to racing apparently has never heard New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick talk about an injury to one of his players. Good luck finding out from him about tight end Rob Gronkowski’s ankle—four months after the Super Bowl.

Yet the Triple Crown is a different beast. Thanks to a zone press by the media, there’s little that escapes public scrutiny. If anything, as opposed to a cone of silence covering the horses and their connections, there’s probably an information overload.

Naturally, with so much information at hand, it can become confusing to sort out the pertinent info and weigh its usefulness. Sometimes there’s so much grey area you simply have to wait until the race is over to find out if something that seems like an excuse a week before the race actually turns out to be an excuse.

As confusing as that might sound, it should be clearer upon pondering three potential excuses for I’ll Have Another when he tries to complete the first Triple Crown sweep in 34 years.

Click here or the headline to find out which excuses Bob Ehalt's is referring to in his blog.

Ehalt Blog: Pros and Cons of I'll Have Another

Preakness Stretch

By Bob Ehalt

In about two weeks, the momentous question of 2012 will have an answer.

Can I’ll Have Another have another?

Can he complete the sweep?

Can he become Thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown champion in 34 years?

The answer will be found in a 1 ½-mile journey around the nation’s largest track, when one more victory will assure horse, rider, trainer and owner of everlasting fame.

Click here or the headline to read Bob Ehalt's blog on the I'll Have Another's chances in the Belmont.

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