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Belmont Stakes 2012: Who Will Challenge I'll Have Another?

Bodemeister, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, will not challenge I’ll Have Another June 9 when the horse runs for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. So, who will?

Right now, it seems I’ll Have Another could have as many as 12 challengers over the 1.5-mile course at Belmont Park. From BelmontStakes.com, here is a list of horses called “likely” for the Belmont.

Optimizer, Paynter, Alpha, Atigun, Dullahan, Five Sixteen, Guyana Star Dweej, Mark Valeski, Rousing Sermon, Stealcase, Street Life, and Union Rags.

BloodHorse.com expects Union Rags, Dullahan and Mark Valeski to be the primary challengers to I’ll Have Another in his bid for the first Triple Crown since Affirmed won it in 1978.

Union Rags placed seventh in the Kentucky Derby, but skipped the Preakness.

Dullahan placed third in the Kentucky Derby, just 13/4 lengths back. He also skipped the Preakness.

Mark Valeski has not run in either of the first two legs of the Triple Crown. He won the Grade II Peter Pan Stakes May 12 at Belmont Park.