Bill Clinton on Belmont Stakes: Derby's Dullahan may spoil I'll Have Another's Triple Crown run

President Clinton attends the Center for Global Dialogue and Cooperation's annual meeting May 18, 2012, in Vienna. Getty Images for 2nd CGDC Annual Meeting 2012

(CBS News) "The Comeback Kid" thinks a Kentucky Derby hopeful could come back from a third-place finish at Churchill Downs to spoil I'll Have Another's run at the Triple Crown in Saturday's Belmont Stakes.

(Watch at left, starting at the 1:09 mark)

President Clinton called Dullahan "the real wildcard" for the Belmont in a chat Friday with the announcer for Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J. (The track says operator Jeff Gural is a friend of the former president.) Mr. Clinton handicapped the race following a fundraiser there for Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who's running for re-election.

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The Belmont would pit I'll Have Another against Dullahan for the first time since the Derby. There, Dullahan finished a neck behind Bodemeister, who came in second 1 1/2 lengths behind I'll Have Another. Dullahan's owners pulled the colt from last month's Preakness Stakes to rest him.

"The Belmont might be a good race for him because he closed just as strong as I'll Have Another," Mr. Clinton said, "and he came out of maybe more interference, so, you know, if that horse has a race like he had in the Derby, he could still give I'll Have Another a race."

The former president didn't doubt that the Derby and Preakness winner was capable of winning the first Triple Crown since Affirmed held off Alydar to win the 1978 Belmont by a head.

"I'd say he's got a good chance," Mr. Clinton said. "He looked like he had some juice left at the end of both those races."

After the 1 1/4-mile Derby, I'll Have Another won by a neck over Bodemeister in the shorter 1 3/16-mile Preakness. Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile track stands as the longest among the Triple Crown races, but it won't be the scene of another rematch between the top-two finishers from the prize's first two legs. Bodemeister's owners decided the colt will skip the Belmont.

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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