I have to say that I’ll Have Another has been interesting. Doug O’Neill has captivated me with his lingo, and Mario Gutierrez has been an inspiration for every small track rider around the world. Now, toss in Mr. Reddam who was asked if he made more money on the purse, or did he do better at the windows? The runner is shipped out quickly, and he reminds me of Charlie Hustle running to first base when walked. Something feels funny this time. The Derby left me guessing, and the Preakness gave me hope. But, the Belmont Stakes may be the act where the curtain is pulled back and we get a glimpse of what is going on behind the scenes.
Guilty is my charge. I drank the cool-aid, and bought all of the stock I could get my hands on… I fell in love with this being the 12th Triple Crown runner in 34-years. Racing fans live optimistically for the next champion to be crowned. But, after further review, I have decided to jump off the bandwagon. I have sold my stock, and given up the juice. There are too many factoids popping up.
Doug O’Neill is covering all bases. He played Switzerland in the Times Union by saying: “It is an inconvenience for many horses to be moved to the new environment in the separate stakes barn. But, I think I have a horse who will not be bothered. He then agreed that horses are creatures of habit, and there is no guarantee that I’ll Have Another will like his new digs. He went to the stakes barn, and said it was claustrophobic for his stable pony (Lava Man), but IHA should settle in fine. But we just don’t know. Anytime you move, it is a concern.” – Alrighty then, which one will it be?
I am not ruling him out completely. I think he has plenty of heart, and rider who is catching on quickly to what this race really means. The comments by Mr. O’Neill have me guessing. I know it is part drama and hype, but it seems there are just too many questions for me. The extra fast shipping after his last two races. Galloping up to a mile and a half? The near collision in the morning works. Not getting to wear his nasal strip. They may be all a big coincidence, or maybe it’s all true. See how easy it is to sit in the middle of the fence?
IHA should be a factor. It will be the sweeping turns of “Big Sandy” that will tell the truth. When they turn for home, I will begin hearing O’Neill’s confident tone telling us; “see, that is what happens when you keep all of the horses together and watch them closely.” I don’t think I have ever jumped off a runner so quickly in my life. I think he will be a player, but the streak will continue until next year.