Triple Crown Dreams Often Dashed At Belmont
Since Affirmed last won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1978, 11 3-year-olds have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness– but fallen short in the Belmont Stakes. I’ll Have Another will try to snap that streak on June 9.
A look at how those thoroughbreds ran at Belmont:
— 2008: Big Brown finishes last to Da’ Tara, the longest shot on the board. Big Brown fails to respond when jockey Kent Desormeaux asks for more speed in the last turn. At that point, Desormeaux eases him up.
— 2004: Smarty Jones extends his lead approaching the quarter pole and maintains a clear lead inside the furlong marker. Fights gamely into the deep stretch then yields grudgingly to finish second, a length behind Birdstone.
— 2003: Funny Cide leads to the far turn, relinquishes the lead to Empire Maker at the three-sixteenths pole, battles along the inside to the top of the stretch then weakens, finishing third, five lengths back.
— 2002: War Emblem stumbles badly out of the gate then bumps Magic Weisner at the start in an 11-horse field. Takes brief lead nearing the half-mile pole. Remains a factor to the turn but gives way, finishing eighth, 19 1/2 lengths back.
— 1999: Charismatic takes the lead briefly at the turn but Lemon Drop Kid and Vision and Verse fly by him on the outside and he finishes third, 1 1/2 lengths back.
— 1998: Four lengths ahead with an eighth-mile remaining, Real Quiet is nipped by a nose at the wire by Victory Gallop in a nine-horse field.
— 1997: Silver Charm fails to hold off Touch Gold in the final eighth-mile and finishes second, three-quarters of a length back, in a seven-horse field.
— 1989: Sunday Silence can’t match Easy Goer in the final quarter-mile and finishes second, eight lengths back in a 10-horse field.
— 1987: Checked sharply on the final turn, Alysheba finishes fourth, 14 lengths behind winner Bet Twice in a 10-horse field.
— 1981: Pleasant Colony, never better than third, finishes a little more than 1 1/2 lengths behind Summing, with Highland Blade second in an 11-horse field.
— 1979: The 1-5 favorite, Spectacular Bid leads with a quarter-mile left, but weakens to finish third in an eight-horse field, 3 1/4 lengths behind Coastal and another head behind Golden Act.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)