I'll Have Another's retirement hurts NYRA, NBC

Posted: June 9, 2012 at 5:12 am


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NEW YORK (AP) -- The retirement of I'll Have Another on the eve of the Belmont Stakes is a big hit for the New York Racing Association and NBC.

Both had been hoping for a Triple Crown bonanza.

NYRA, the association that runs Belmont Park, Saratoga and Aqueduct, has been under political pressure. Last month, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo replaced the NYRA management following years of scandal and mismanagement.

Earlier in the week, NYRA spokesman Dan Silver estimated the Triple Crown try would draw "100,000, weather permitting."

It's hard to predict the impact of I'll Have Another's defection on the turnout. While all reserved and box seats are sold out, a good chunk of any Belmont crowd are walk-up general admission customers.

NBC, expecting a substantial ratings bump for the Belmont coverage, was scrambling to digest the news.

"While we are obviously disappointed that our show won't feature I'll Have Another going for the elusive Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes is still an iconic event on the sports schedule, and the NBC Sports Group broadcasts will treat it as such. We're working now to adjust the game plan accordingly," said Adam Freifeld, VP Communications, NBC Sports Group.

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TAGG RECALLS: The buildup to I'll Have Another's Triple Crown try that was derailed Friday brought back memories of 2003 and Funny Cide's bid for trainer Barclay Tagg.

Not all of them were pleasant.

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I'll Have Another's retirement hurts NYRA, NBC

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June 9th, 2012 at 5:12 am

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