Hopes for a Triple Crown were dashed when Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I’ll Have Another was scratched on June 8, 2012, one day before the 144th Belmont Stakes. The colt was retired due to an injury that will take months to heal.
I’ll Have Another passed Bodemeister in the final seconds of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Bodemeister is not scheduled to run in the Belmont Stakes. The favorites appear to be Dullahan, Union Rags and Paynter.
Pictures: Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another
Pictures: I’ll Have Another wins Preakness by a neck
If I’ll Have Another had won the Belmont Stakes to win the Triple Crown it would have been the first Triple Crown victory in 34 years. The last Triple Crown Victory was by Affirmed in 1978, Seattle Slew won the title in 1977. Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973.
Trainer Doug O’Neill said I’ll Have Another had developed a swelling in his left front tendon that was the beginning of tendonitis. O’Neill made a statement in a press conference televised on NBC Television Network.
“This is extremely tough for all of us. It’s far from tragic but it’s extremely disappointing,” said O’Neill, who described the injury as a “freakish thing” during a 1 p.m. news conference at Belmont Park. “He has been a little quiet the last few days of galloping but his legs have been great. Yesterday he galloped great, but in the afternoon we noticed some loss of definition in his left front leg … we prayed he kind of hit himself and that it was a little bit of skin irritation. We did him up in a special poultice, and this morning he looked great. We did just a little easy gallop with him this morning. I thought he looked great on the track.”
“Cooling out, you could tell the swelling was back,” he said. “I talked with Mr. [J. Paul] Reddam and immediately we got Dr. [Jim] Hunt over here. He scanned him and he said it was the start of tendonitis in his [superficial] left front tendon and … you give him three to six months and then start back with him. But obviously, he’s done so much, that it was unanimous to retire him. It’s a bummer, but far from tragic.
I’ll Have Another is now retired. He may have been able to run the race without harm, but with an estimated value of ten million dollars for breeding, it was deemed not worth the risk.
The odds will change, but the Belmont Stakes will go on on Saturday, June 9, 2012. Belmont Stakes Saturday airs 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network. Belmont Stakes coverage will air 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. on NBC. The Belmont Post-Race Show airs 7 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.
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