The 2012 Belmont Stakes took a major financial hit with the injury-related scratch of Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another.
According to Daily Racing Form, three of the last four Belmont Stakes that featured a Triple Crown hopeful drew crowds of greater than 100,000 spectators. For perspective, the 2011 Belmont Stakes, which did not feature a potential Triple Crown winner, was attended by just 55,799 people.
The television ratings expected for a Belmont Stakes with a Triple Crown hopeful are normally between double and quadruple the ratings in any other year, so NBC must be sick with the news that I'll Have Another was forced to withdraw due to tendinitis in its front left leg.
"The Belmont Stakes is still an iconic event on the sports schedule, and the NBC Sports Group broadcasts will treat is as such," said Adam Freifeld, a spokesman for the network that broadcasts the three races of the Triple Crown. "We're working now to adjust the game plan accordingly."
"We're still going to do our job to promote a great day of racing at Belmont," said NYRA's spokesperson, Dan Silver.