All eyes on I'll Have Another
"What do you think of Drosselmeyer?" a colleague asked two years ago several hours before the Belmont Stakes.
“Sabini, perhaps noting the high incidence of positive tests for powerful, illegal, performance-enhancing drugs in Grade 1 races -- which is, in fact, zero -- decided that sequestering the entire field was necessary to ensure the purity of the third leg of the Triple Crown. Perhaps this pathetic, almost comical and certainly disingenuous fervor will carry some weight with those who wield power in Albany, but is recognized by most others as a shameless publicity ploy. Despite the distracting nonsense, which has not prevented New Yorkers from rolling out the red carpet for I'll Have Another, there is more than a good chance that the Triple Crown will be swept for the 12th time and that the colt O'Neill trains will by the end of Saturday occupy a throne vacant since 1978. New Yorkers have embraced the striking California-based colt. He drew a crowd at the paddock rail Sunday when taken for schooling to the saddling enclosure before a morning gallop. His attempt to make history at one of racing's most historic venues is expected to draw more than 100,000 to Belmont Park on Saturday, when horses, not the media, set the agenda. "I am kind of looking forward to running him in a situation when you're in a fishbowl and everyone who has thought negative thoughts about me can realize it's not about me, it's about the horse," a nonplussed O'Neill said Sunday. "And they can watch him lead up to a historical event and, hopefully, watch him kick butt, in a fishbowl." Paul Moran is a two-time winner of the Media Eclipse Award and has received various honors from the National Association of Newspaper Editors, Society of Silurians, Long Island Press Club and Long Island Veterinary Medical Association. He also has been given the Red Smith Award for his coverage of the Kentucky Derby. Paul can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am kind of looking forward to running him in a situation when you're in a fishbowl and everyone who has thought negative thoughts about me can realize it's not about me, it's about the horse.” -- Trainer Doug O'Neill
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