I'll Have Another may not have been able to compete in the 2012 Belmont Stakes and after retiring over the weekend, likely won't ever race again. But the horse and its hype certainly raised the stakes at the race, and attendance there as well.
The gains in attendance at Belmont on Saturday accounted for the largest non-Triple Crown crowd in the race's history, according to the Daily Racing Forum. Further, ontrack handle, all-sources handle on the 13-race Belmont card, and television ratings also jumped significantly since last year.
The New York Racing Association, Belmont's operator, reported a 53.8 percent gain over the crowd last year with attendance of 85,811, compared to 55,779 last year . This was the largest crowd to attend the race when a Triple Crown was not on the line.
As disappointing as it was to not see I'll Have Another in the race, everything seemed to work out just fine.
For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down the Stretch They Come.