Horse racing's last Triple Crown came in 1978, when Affirmed held off Alydar in the final strides of the Belmont Stakes to beat his famed rival for the third straight time. Steve Cauthen, then an unknown teen-ager, was the jockey for Affirmed. He finds the comparisons with I'll Have Another, and the horse's unknown jockey -- Mario Gutierrez -- inevitable.
``I guess I'm having a flashback,'' Cauthen told The Associated Press May 20 from his breeding farm in Verona, Ky. ``He's a new kid on the block like I was. The kid's got a great attitude and a great smile. And, like me, he's been put in a position to ride in these kinds of races and a shot at maybe winning the Triple Crown."
Cauthen believes I'll Have Another has a "good chance" at breaking the 34-year Triple Crown draught.``Horses that seem to come out of their races pretty well, it means they don't bother themselves, and that's a huge benefit when you've got three tough races,'' Cauthen said. ``It's like three title fights in five weeks. You are taking on the best around. With Affirmed, he always did the right thing. He didn't waste any energy. And when it came down to a battle, he thrived on it.
``This horse (I'll Have Another) looks like he's got that fighting spirit. He likes a game, and he wants to win and he can't wait to get another battle. He thrives on it and to me that's why more than anything he's got a good chance.''
On June 9, we find out if Cauthen is right.