I'll Have Another scratched from Belmont Stakes and retired with a tendon injury
Story by: David Grening
updated June, 8, 2012
I’ll Have Another was scratched from Saturday’s Belmont Stakes and has been retired from racing due to developing tendonitis in his left foreleg, his connections announced Friday.
“He’s got tendonitis in his left front tendon,” trainer Doug O’Neill said late Friday morning. “He’s not 100 percent and I ain’t taking any chances.”
At an afternoon press conference, Paul Reddam, the owner of I'll Have Another, said the horse would be retired.
"I'm afraid history is going to have to wait for another day," he said.
O’Neill said that he noticed some filling in the leg on Thursday afternoon as if the horse “whacked himself.”
Friday morning, O’Neill brought the horse to the track at 5:30 a.m. - three hours earlier than usual - and did his usual jog and gallop, but the filling returned.
O’Neill summoned Dr. James Hunt to scan the horse which showed “the start of tendonitis,” O’Neill said.
“We don’t want to take any chances,” O’Neill continued. “The bottom line is it’s not tragic, no one got killed, there are much bigger issues in the world.”
O’Neill, who has handled himself with remarkable calm and class the last three weeks, called it “a huge disappointment. At the same time what a horse, what a run. Though it’s heartbreaking its not tragic. We’ll be back with another one, hopefully next year.”
The scratch means that there will not be a Triple Crown winner for the 34th straight year, or since Affirmed in 1978.
The scratch leaves a field of 11 with Dullahan, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, the new mornling-line favorite. He was made 9-5 by both Daily Racing Form national handicapper Mike Watchmaker and NYRA's line-maker Eric Donovan