Don’t Feel Sorry For The Horse, Feel Sorry For The Jockey
Today it was announced that that derby horse I’ll Have Another will not race in the Belmont Stakes, vanquishing any hope of having the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years.
The horse had already won the first two legs at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, but had to pull out today due to a swollen tendon according to its trainer Doug O’Neil. I’ll Have Another was favored to win the Belmont 4-5, instead he is heading toward retirement.
On his show The Commish, Justin Pawlowski argued that we should not feel bad for the horse, but rather the jockey, “you’ve got to feel bad for the jockey because you had a chance, and it was circumstances that were totally out of your control as to why you were unable to achieve your goal, which is what every jockey wants to achieve–to ride the horse of a triple crown winner,” he said.
The horse’s owner and trainer decided to pull the horse after noticing some swelling in its front left leg. The swelling was the beginning of tendinitis, which takes months to rehabilitate from. Once this was discovered it was clear to them that the horse would not race rather than risk the long term health of the horse.
“History won’t be made, the Triple Crown won’t be achieved, but as a positive, I’ll Have Another will get to live another day,” said Pawlowski.
And quite another day he will get to live as a retired prize horse. “I don’t feel bad for the horse,” he said, “the horse is going to be treated like royalty for the rest of its existence.”
The shame of the situation is that the fans will have to wait even longer to see another attempt at the Triple Crown. I’ll Have Another becomes the 12th horse to win the first two legs and not the Belmont.
“Whether you’re a horse racing fan or not, it’s always fun witnessing history,” said Pawlowski, “anytime you have a chance to watch a perfect game being played, or watch Drew Brees and his touchdown passes that set him into the record book– watching history and knowing that that’s going to go down as one of the great moments in all of sports is something that I think any sports fan looks forward to.”
It’s been 34 years, and it looks like horse racing fans are going to have to wait just a little while longer.