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. monkeycheese

    Who cares. End this stupid sport and please NEVER post this as frontpage news ever...ever...again.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • phunk

      300 million people in this country you know. Just because you don't care for it doesn't mean there isn't at least 50 million other people that do.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary's Elbow

      Then don't read the article.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • thetruth

      you need to relax and go back to bed, tomorrow will be better.....

      June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scheer

      Are you an idiot or what? Don't click the damn story, you big baby.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mabear87

      Get rid of NASCAR and hockey first. Those are deplorable events and should not even be considered as sport.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Ira

      Were you born an idiot or did it evolve?

      June 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • rsanders

      Repeat after me: "All people who disagree with me are evil and should be put in concentration camps".

      June 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Silversword

      Your comment alone is why this story is newsworthy and deserves the front page. CNN is not about pleasing You rather sharing issues and events which effect many. So next time, keep your unhappy self to YOURSELF.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane H.

      I couldn't agree more. I suppose now that he's injured and not a money maker they will send him to be slaughtered.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Helen

    Ha!! My husband called this days ago. Said the trainer - O'Neill - would pull him last minute with a phony injury because of the strict drugging rules for this race. O'Neill is a known drugger of horses. Husband just called to say "I told you so!"

    June 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sid

      I hope you are wrong, but I'm afraid you might be right.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Linda

    Shame on you Gary Bonner! You must have not ever been around Horse Racing! This has nothing to do or related to the doping as you put it! This animal has a injury and I hand it to the Owner and Trainer for withdrawing him from the race and thinking about I'll Have Another and the other Horses and Jockey's in the race! I wish that there were more owners and trainers in this industry like these responsible parties, and not always wanting the glory. I happen to have a son that is a very successful Jockey and he's aboard these animals every day and knows when they are right and NOT. Again I applaud the Owner, Trainer and Jockey here for not risking any further injury to I'll Have Another! You all are TRUE CHAMPIONS TO ME!!

    June 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane H.

      The owners are withdrawing him so they don't get busted for drugging the poor horse. Don't think for a second they are acting in the horse's best interest. This is purely about making money and not getting caught for animal abuse.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JN

      It's hard to applaud a horse owner now in court for goupging the American consumer with 99% interest rates and a trainer convicted of doping horses. Applaud the jockey and the horse if you have to, but it's hard not to suspect this was the trainers way out of being caught doping again.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dhulfiqar

    Just race the horse with the injury - he'll still do well... Its that or turning into dog food. *sarcasm intended*

    June 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz in Seattle

      There's a third option, which is making gobs and gobs of money off of stud fees as long as the horse remains basically healthy. I think they went for that one.

      June 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. reinadelaz

    So disappointed!

    June 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©,

    Little Johnny wanted to go to the zoo and pestered his parents for days. Finally his mother talked his reluctant father into taking him."So how was it?" his mother asked when they returned home."Great," Little Johnny replied."Did you and daddy have a good time?" asked his mother."Yeah, daddy really liked it too," exclaimed Little Johnny, "especially when one of the animals came home at 30 to 1!"

    June 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff

    Just turn him into glue

    June 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Big Al

    Bummer for those who bought tickets to the Belmont Stakes, hoping they'd see racing history. Oh, well. At least it'll be a nice day on Long Island. The race should still be a lot of fun.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Truthbetold

    Square one....Stay on topic please

    June 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kathy

    And what does all that jibjab have to do with this story?

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. someone who cares

    what do you mean who cares- your Moron!! This is probably most exciting even in Sports. This is devastating to have Triple Crown not happen again. Beth you would boo hoo if say Peyton Manning or a starting QB was injured before a Super Bowl game- you MORON!!!!!

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |

    @squareone....Republicans killed I'll have another. Fact.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. phunk

    Tell a lie enough times and it becomes the truth, huh? Like Sue said: go away.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • But

      But its not a lie to them, they have no critical thinking skills so they rely on others to do their thinking.....As far as they are concerned "Its GOSPEL!"

      June 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe

    Square One – don't be such a square!

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bobcat (in a hat)©,

    Preakness fans this year were given the option of spending an extra $20 to have an unlimited supply of cold brew. Of course, this meant lots of full bladders. One jockey joked that his racehorse had to pee like a Preakness fan.

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
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