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2012 Belmont Stakes Set For June 9; Long Layoff For I'll Have Another Triple Crown Watchers

It's a question a confused America asks literally every year around this time: When is the Belmont Stakes? The 2012 answer: It's June 9, in confusingly named Elmont, New York, and reigning Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I'll Have Another—but not that horse's nemesis Bodemeister—will be running with the chance to win the first Triple Crown in horse-racing since Affirmed in 1978.

I'll Have Another is the 12th horse to come into the Belmont Stakes with a chance to win the Triple Crown since then; four of those horses, most recently Smarty Jones in 2004, have finished second, with Smarty Jones coming within a length of winning at Belmont and taking home the Triple Crown. (Real Quiet, who was a photo finish away from a win in 1998 a year after Silver Charm nearly did it, remains the closest to taking the Belmont Stakes of the 12 horses.)

So: you have a few weeks until it's time for Triple Crown mania to take hold for good. Until then, keep thinking of cool horse-racing names, and someday you too may come within a Belmont Stakes race of horse-racing's biggest prize, just like I'll Have Another.