No Triple Crown: I’ll Have Another Pulls Out Of Belmont
NEW YORK -- I'll Have Another's bid for a Triple Crown ended with the shocking news that the colt was out of the Belmont Stakes due to a swollen left front tendon.
According to Dennis O'Neill, brother of trainer Doug O'Neill, the horse galloped Friday morning and after a veterinary scan, the tendon seemed "kind of tender."
Dennis O'Neill told The Associated Press that "the horse is sound and happy, but it's not worth it."
Doug O'Neill, in an interview with "The Dan Patrick Show," said the horse being scratched is "not tragic, but it's a huge disappointment."
O'Neill will hold a news conference early Friday afternoon at Belmont Park.
After winning the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, I'll Have Another was on the verge of becoming the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.
When Patrick asked Doug O'Neill if I'll Have Another has raced his last horse race, O'Neill said, "If I had to wager ... I would say yes."
O'Neill called an audible and sent I'll Have Another out for a final gallop in secrecy at Belmont Park on Friday morning. The colt jogged and then galloped around the 1½-mile oval accompanied by stable pony Lava Man.
O'Neill then declared his horse "fit and ready to go."
"We are just trying to let him bring as much energy to the table tomorrow as possible," O'Neill said early Friday. "We thought giving him an easy day the day before would be a good move. He stayed with coach Lava Man just to keep everything off-speed. I was very pleased with it. Perfect. We are ready to roll."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.