I'll Have Another scratched from Belmont Stakes
Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - I'll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, has been scratched from Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
Appearing at an afternoon press conference, trainer Doug O'Neill said the colt has tendinitis of his left front leg and will be unable to start in the third jewel of racing's Triple Crown.
"He's been a little quiet the last few days of galloping, but his legs have been great," said O'Neill. "Yesterday he galloped great. But in the afternoon we noticed some loss of definition in his left front leg, to which ... we thought he just kind of hit himself and it was just a little bit of skin irritation."
O'Neill had the colt on the track at 5:30 a.m. (et) Friday morning for a half- mile jog and a mile gallop. I'll Have Another had been galloping 1 1/2 miles most mornings at Belmont Park over the last two weeks in anticipation of the long journey on Saturday afternoon.
"We did him up in a special poultice, (and) this morning he looked great," O'Neill said. "So I thank the racing gods there. We did just an easy gallop with him today, I thought he looked great on the track. And then cooling out you can tell that swelling was back and that point I didn't feel very good.
"Immediately we got Dr. Hunt over here and he scanned him and said it was a start of tendinitis in his left front tendon. You give him three to six months and start back with him. But, obviously he's done so much it was unanimous between the Reddams and my brother and I, and everyone at the barn said to retire him."
Owned by J. Paul Reddam, I'll Have Another was installed as the 4-5 favorite for the Belmont Stakes. The colt was just one win away from becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.
He becomes the first Derby and Preakness champ since Bold Venture in 1936 to not start in the Belmont. I'll Have Another was to take on 11 rivals in the Test of Champions in an effort to become the 12th Triple Crown champion.
I'll Have Another, with Mario Gutierrez aboard, defeated Bodemeister in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The chestnut son of Flower Alley caught pacesetter Bodemeister in deep stretch at Churchill Downs and defeated the 4-1 favorite by 1 1/2 lengths in the Run for the Roses after being sent off at 15-1.
Two weeks later as the 3-1 second pick, I'll Have Another again caught the front running Bodemeister to register a neck victory in the Preakness at Pimlico.
If the colt has run his last race, he finishes with five wins in seven lifetime starts and $2,693,600 in earnings.
06/08 13:52:36 ET