So I had to Google the term Google. Not really, though.
The past two trainers who have had a horse going for the coveted, elusive, dare I say IMPOSSIBLE feat of winning the Triple Crown have been two of the most checkered trainers. This, of course, being media darling Doug O’Neill, and babe-spewing Ricky Dutrow, Jr. It was steroids four years ago and now it’s, well, we’ll have to Google it.
O’Neill’s brother, Dennis, the famed man who “found” I’ll Have Another and bought him, for, like, super cheap was on CNN. You know it’s great when the mainstream press gets its hands on horse racing. Like on ESPN the morning after the Preakness, a sports caster said I’ll Have Another stormed down the backstretch to win. Back, home, who’s keeping track?
But Dennis O’Neill’s claim that he and his brother had no idea what a “milkshake” was is about as believable as Snooki having to Google the term “promiscuity.” Mark McGuire Googling “steroids,” Tony Soprano Googling “whacking,” Pete Rose Googling “gambling,” Dolly Parton Googling “implants.” (Sadly, I have more, many, many more.)
Here’s a part of what he said, “We've never milkshaked a horse," said Dennis O'Neill. "We wouldn't know how to do it."
I don’t think it’ll give racing the boon everyone thinks. All it will do is give people who are already into racing reason to feel warm and fuzzy, like a shot of tequilla. Should I’ll Have Another pull it off he’ll get the Sports Illustrated cover and Tim Layden will get the story. For about one week he’ll be a star but with the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA playoffs and baseball and every other sport, I’ll Have Another will be about as successful as drawing new blood into the sport as John Locke was at initially getting the Oceanic 6 back to the island.
What would add to the draw of the Belmont Stakes would be if Bodemeister made the trip. Even with Union Rags looming as a dangerous threat, IHA and Bode are the modern day Affirmed and Alydar, Easy Goer and Sunday Silence. It would make all the more sense having former jockeys Steve Cauthen and Jorge Velasquez in attendance signing with IHA and Bode running, but two out of three ain’t bad as the ’Loaf says.
The odds are against I’ll Have Another. There’s a reason this thing hasn’t been done in 34 years. There’s a reason the past few winners of the Belmont Stakes (Ruler on Ice, Drosselmeyer, Summer Bird, Da’Tara, Rags to Riches, Jazil) won. They all had at least four weeks rest. You’d have to go back to Afleet Alex to find a horse who ran in all three legs of the Triple Crown and won the race, this after nearly doing a somersault at Pimlico.
If anything, it’ll give all the people who whine and complain about this great and maddening sport reason to cheer and hold up another because unlike every other sport, if I’ll Have Another wins, we all win. Can’t say that about the NFL, can you?
Brendan O'Meara is the author of Six Weeks in Saratoga.