June 8th, 2012
12:34 PM ET

I'll Have Another scratched from Belmont, ending Triple Crown bid

[Updated at 12:34 p.m. ET] The racehorse I'll Have Another has been scratched from Saturday's Belmont Stakes, ending its bid to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years, a spokesman for trainer Doug O'Neill confirmed Friday.

Earlier Friday, O'Neill told the "Dan Patrick Show" that I'll Have Another was out, citing swelling in one of the horse's legs.

“I’ll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont," O'Neill told the radio show. "He galloped great yesterday, and in the afternoon he had a little bit of swelling in his left front leg.

“This morning, he looked perfect. I took him out and I just did a little something with him. After training, that swelling came back.

"I had the vet come over. He scanned his left front leg. He’s got the start of tendinitis going on in that front leg, so he’s not 100%. And we ain’t taking any chances."

O'Neill told the show that he didn't know how the horse became injured.

“Pulling him out, it’s not tragic, but it’s a huge disappointment. (I’m) just so disappointed for the horse, obviously, and … the whole team.

News of the withdrawal comes after O'Neill sent the horse out to the Belmont Park track for earlier-than-usual training Friday morning - jogging a half-mile and galloping a mile, starting at 5:30 a.m., according to a New York Racing Association story on the Belmont Stakes website.

Before the withdrawal, the horse's owner, Paul Reddam, told CNN on Friday morning that preparations were going well.

Had the horse won the Belmont, it would have been the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, when Affirmed won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

I'll Have Another won the first two races this year, but wasn't the favorite for either. Before Friday's withdrawal, oddsmakers said the horse was favored to win the Belmont at odds of 4-5, according to the New York Racing Association.

Since 1990, only seven horses have won the first two legs of the title.

I'll Have Another was "lightly raced" and only competed in two prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby, which happened in May. The horse competed in the shadow of Bodemeister, which was predicted to win the Kentucky Derby.

High stakes, long race at Triple Crown's Belmont

The time leading up to the Belmont Stakes has not been without controversy. A workers strike at Belmont Park was averted this week.

The racetrack's workers, who manage the grounds and put the horses in the gate, have been involved in a contract dispute with the New York Racing Association over wages and health care since 2010.

Also, I'll Have Another's trainer is to begin a 45-day suspension, handed down by the California horse-racing authorities, on July 1.

O'Neill was found responsible for high carbon dioxide levels in 2010 California Del Mar track racer Argenta's blood. However, he was not found guilty of "intentional acts" or any sign that betting was skewed toward Argenta in the race.

Despite that, O'Neill still was able to participate in the Stakes this weekend.

soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. LMAO

    Hogwash. I've seen numerous greedy horse owners race their horses leg off, literally. Not to mention the thousands of racehorse owners that dope their horses as if the were MLB baseball players.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LMAO

    @peter. No thanks. I'm waiting for a man who doesn't believe in some god running everything. Bush, Obama, and now possibly the freaking Mormon Romney...I've had about enough of these holy men running US.

    June 8, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LMAO

    The Belmont Stakes are small potatos anyway. (compared to the richest horserace at Riodoso Downs, and not counting gambling revenues, of course)

    June 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PC

    I am saddened and disappointed that I'll Have Another will not be able to race for the coveted Triple Crown tomorrow. However, attending to any health problem is and must continue to be the issue taking top priority over anything else! I'll Have Another IS and will ALWAYS be a champion!!

    June 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Good Pull Him Prior to Shooting on Track

    These horses are beeded to be slinder legs and they can easily break.
    Nothing worse than loosing multi millions from stud fees if your horse is dead!

    June 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Yes

    @Good Pull...you are correct. American children going without food means nothing to those who worship animals. Feed a horse, starve a child. A thousand or more starved kids could easily be fed by what you feed one Triple Crown animal. What next? Extend marriage rights to those whom hump animals before extending them to 16 yr. old humans?

    June 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Exactly

    It's best to not allow an MLB baseball player to play on drugs. It's just too dangerous for the man playing ball.
    Bravo! to those whom see this to be true for animals. Booo Hisss! to those so dull they would never think of extending this courtesy to humans.

    June 8, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Exactly

    @Good pull him prior to shooting him (horse)...Your desription of a thorobred racehorse defies all logic and common sense. Have you ever stood nezt to a 16 hand thorobred?I racehorse? No, by your description you have not. Go pretend elsewhere. ty

    June 8, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. julie

    I'm so glad that you put the well-being of the horse first

    June 9, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. g.d

    i hope the horse will be ok.

    June 9, 2012 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. spiritbutterflygirl

    Horse racing is wrong to many beautiful horses being hurt or worse

    June 9, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Stupid

    A) the triple crown has to be achieved all three wins in the same year.....and B) I really wish they would stop the hype following the first win....Whatever horse wins the first race is hyped to death only to lose or scratch or something else.....PLEASE HOLD THE HYPE FOR A HORSE THAT WINS THE FIRST TWO!!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
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