The buzz around the 2012 Belmont Stakes focused firmly upon the Triple Crown dreams of I'll Have Another. One win shy of the first horse racing Triple Crown since Affirmed accomplished the feat in 1978, I'll Have another was center stage at the event until the morning before the race when the horse retired from the sport forever.
Despite I'll Have Another not participating in the event, the Associated Press has reported that a staggering number of wagers were placed for Saturday's race. In fact, they were near historic.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
A close finish led to the second-largest amount of money wagered, strong attendance and higher television ratings, proving people will still watch the sport on its big days.
The television ratings pulled a 5.4 overnight righting and a 13 share, which was 13 percent higher than last year's Belmont and a staggering 74 percent better than the 2010 Belmont.