If I’ll Have Another wins the 2012 Belmont Stakes this Saturday at Belmont Park, and in turn, captures Horse Racing’s Triple Crown, it’ll be ok with a lot of people. But perhaps, most importantly, it’ll be ok with both Patrice Wolfson and Steve Cauthen
Patrice Wolfson, who owned the great Affirmed thru his 1978 Triple Crown win with her husband Louis under Harbor View Farm, feels it’s time to pass the torch to a horse she believes is worthy to follow in the footsteps of the great Affirmed.
“There were years I felt it wasn’t the right time to relinquish (the title of ‘last Triple Crown winner’),” Wolfson said “But I think the time is right. This little guy (I’ll Have Another) would be a worthy successor. He’s very tenacious in the stretch, he strides out beautifully in his gallops, and is a very exciting horse to watch. There’s something about him that reminds me a little of Affirmed, the way he wants to win. I just think it’s time. Racing needs a star and he could be a star.”
Steve Cauthen, who rode Affirmed in all three Triple Crown races at the age of 18, agrees with Wolfson.
“What I love is that this horse has a lot of fight in him,” he said. “He likes to run and he likes to battle. And he’s a very relaxed horse, like Affirmed was. Nothing seems to bother him. He’s very athletic and he knows how to look after himself, which is so important.
“I’m ready to pass it on. They have a great team and I’ve been very impressed with Doug O’Neill. His jockey, Mario Gutierrez, is a great kid and I admire his confidence and the way he’s always relaxed. So, I’m rooting for them and I hope all goes well. I think the whole racing world is dying to have another great horse come along and capture their hearts.”