Another tough break for horse racing
Updated: June 8, 2012, 6:35 PM ETBy Bill Finley | Special to ESPN.com
Is thoroughbred racing cursed?It's a legitimate question in light of Friday's development, the stunning news that I'll Have Another has been scratched from the Belmont Stakes after developing tendinitis in his left front leg. While this may not have been the warmest and fuzziest story because of the spate of drug violations incurred by trainer Doug O'Neill, I'll Have Another's chase for Triple Crown glory was going to be an electrifying 2½ minutes for racing, one that was going to shake the old Belmont Park grandstand that was going to be filled with more than 100,000 people. Win or lose, it was going to be a great moment and, frankly, something the sport needed after three or four of the worst months in its history. Now this. Perhaps it could have been worse. Imagine the disaster of this horse breaking down and, perhaps, dying in the Belmont Stakes. But this is pretty bad as it is. It's like canceling the Super Bowl or announcing that the Giants won't play but will be replaced by a team from the arena league. It's like expecting to see Pavarotti at the Met only to hear that he got sick and that some guy named Al from the Toledo Opera Company will replace him. Is it the worst moment in racing history? No. Is it the most deflating? Quite possibly, yes.
So now we have to wait another year for another potential Triple Crown winner. For those of you keeping score, we'll be up to 35 years without a sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.
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