NBC’s 2 1/2 hours of planned coverage Saturday afternoon of the Belmont Stakes was supposed to center on I’ll Have Another, the 3-year-old colt who has captivated the sports world (and beyond) trying for horse racing’s first Triple Crown in 34 years. But the horse was pulled from the race today after suffering a tendon injury during training, turning the Belmont into pretty much just another race. That’s an awful turn of events for NBC Sports, which certainly was planning to devote all its coverage to I’ll Have Another, its trainer Doug O’Neill and the rest of the team and watch the monster ratings come in. The network last year signed a big deal to consolidate the Triple Crown races under its flag and had caught lightning in a bottle with this colt, which won one of the best races I’ve ever seen last month at the Preakness to set him up for a chance to be only the 12th horse to take the Triple Crown. Now it’s off to the much more lucrative stud farm for I’ll Have Another, while scribes scrap the first drafts of those Seabiscuit 2 scripts.
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