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Exercise rider Jonny Garcia takes Triple Crown hopefull I'll Have Another over the track in preparation for the 144th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 7, 2012 in Elmont, New York.
There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in over three decades. Since the 1970’s, when Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978) eleven other champions have tried, but fallen short of taking racing’s greatest prize. But “I’ll Have Another” is giving hope to racing fans – and to the sport in general.
Well-publicized allegations of mistreatment of horses and controversy over the use of synthetic tracks have dogged the horseracing world in recent years. Proponents of the sport maintain that horse athletes are well cared for and that safety is of paramount concern. With local hero “I’ll Have Another” poised to go the distance at Belmont Park, the thrill and excitement of horse racing seem to have made a comeback. But is it enough to bring the sport of kings back into the public’s good graces? Southern California is a major hub for the racing industry, with two major tracks at Santa Anita and Del Mar.
What is the state of racing in California today? Are you a racing fan? Will you be betting on I’ll Have Another this Saturday? Or do you have another horse in this race?
Steve Andersen, reporter, Daily Racing Form