The horse racing world’s dreams of a Triple Crown winner for the first time in 34 years were dashed when favorite I’ll Have Another was pulled from Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.
The three-year-old colt, who had set the race track alive with his spectacular wins at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness last month, is suffering from a very untimely case of tendonitis and most likely will never race again, his trainer Doug O’Neill announced on the Dan Patrick radio show on Friday.
“It’s just a freakish thing,” revealed O’Neill, when explaining how the thoroughbred had returned from training with a swollen left fore leg, possibly from straining or hyper-extending himself. “It's not tragic, but it's a huge disappointment.
“I'm bummed we're not participating,” he added. “Whoever wins (the Belmont) will be a special horse.”
After winner the first two legs of the historic Triple Crown, I’ll Have Another was the 4-5 favorite in the Belmont, New York race. If he had won he would have been the first horse to achieve the impressive feat since Affirmed in 1978.
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When asked if he thought his beloved champion has run his last race, O’Neill said: “If I had to wager … I would say yes.
“It was a unanimous decision to retire him,” he explained.