Triple Crown is Out But Don’t Feel Sorry For I’ll Have Another

This might be the first time in the history of the American Monetary Association that we have posted an article dedicated to horse racing. Of course, a closer examination reveals that the real story is money, specifically, how much of it I’ll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, has already banked, and how much owner J. Paul Reddam stands to lose now that his prize horse has pulled up lame just before the third leg of the Triple Crown.

Don’t feel too sorry for Reddam yet, though. There’s a good chance I’ll Have Another will bring in an additional $10 million in stud fees over his lifetime, which in the future will consist primarily of wandering idyllic green pastures and mounting mares every now and then. See what we’re saying? Don’t feel too sorry for horse or owner.

Let’s backtrack a bit.

The Triple Crown is one of the rarest feats in the history of all sports. It is accomplished when the same horse wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes all in the same year, actually in the span of about five weeks. There have been eleven Triple Crown winners, the first coming in 1919 (Sir Barton) and the last occurring in 1978 (Affirmed).

I’ll Have Another gave the beleaguered sport a shot in the arm by winning the first two race

s of the series, but found his chance at immortality stymied when he developed a tendon injury in the days leading up to the Belmont Stakes. As injuries go, it’s not especially serious, but severe enough that trainer and owner decided not to jeopardize his health further by trying to run him again. I’ll Have Another will retire, recover completely, and, rather than be shot and turned into dog food (Just kidding!! Calm down.), heads out to pasture to provide stud services for other owners hoping to catch lightning in a bottle somewhere down the line by tapping into that championship blood line.

At an estimated $20,000 to $25,000 fee each time the horse breeds a mare, racing experts expect Reddam could pocket another $6 million to $10 million dollars over the lifetime of his horse. That ain’t chump change, folks. By trying to race I’ll Have Another at Belmont, Reddam would not only have risked an injury that might have required putting the horse down, but more pragmatically, lost any future stud fees associated with a proven winner. While the purses and publicity accompanying a Triple Crown winner would be substantial, $10 million the easy way is nothing to sneer at and would most likely exceed that total.

The American Monetary Association

Flickr / tpower1978

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