Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another almost lost the chance to go after a triple crown victory when a loose horse who escaped from its trainer nearly caused a collision with the champion thoroughbred.
Trainer Doug O’Neill revealed that the accident nearly occurred on Thursday at Belmont Park as I’ll Have Another was on the track training for the Belmont Stakes.
The other horses trainer was thrown from the horse when O’Neill says the other horse came “screaming up on the outside rail” in the opposite direct I’ll Have Another was walking.
Thankfully the horse made a last second correction and went between the rail and I’ll Have Another. According to exercise rider Jonny Garcia the stray horse grazed his boot as it passed.
Trainer O’Neill says that similar accidents in the past have happened and “they are ugly.” He says the near collision was so close that his stomach was “still a little twisted” for quite some time after the freak run-away horse show.
If I’ll Have Another can pull off another win at the Belmont Stakes they will become the first horse in 34 years to pull off the Triple Crown. The Belmont Stakes are live on June 9.
In the meantime it is likely that I’ll Have Another’s handlers will be closely watching for any funny business on the track as they train their championship thoroughbred.
Will you be rooting for I’ll Have Another when the Belmont Stakes is finally underway?