I'll Have Another Scratched from Belmont Stakes: Colt Retired Due to InjuryPublished June 8, 2012
We will never know if I'll Have Another, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness stakes winner would have captured the third jewel in the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing.
In a startling turn of events, during a press conference held on Friday afternoon, I'll Have Another's trainer, Doug O'Neill made the shocking and disappointing announcement that the magnificent chestnut colt had been scratched from the Belmont Stakes.
According to the Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Times, the first inkling that something was amiss for Team I'll Have Another, was the change in their training routine.
The colt, who usually trained during the time period reserved for Belmont Stakes Contenders at 8:30 AM, was only being jogged and lightly galloped at 5:30 AM instead.
O'Neill said the colt was quiet Thursday afternoon following his morning run. The veterinarians who checked him out discovered some swelling in his left front leg. After his early Friday morning light workout, O'Neill noticed, when the colt returned to the barn that unfortunately the swelling had come back.
Veterinarians scanned the leg, diagnosing the colt with a tendon injury.
Although I'll Have Another's owner, J. Paul Reddam said that the colt could have been raced, but it was definitely not worth the risk.
Returning back to training is a very slow process and tendon injuries can take a long time to heal. There is no guarantee that the colt would regain his full strength the decision was made to permanently retire the “Dual Classic Winner."
To say that I am heartbroken is a huge understatement. But in this writer’s opinion, winning the Triple Crown, while a huge victory, it is not worth a potentially fatal breakdown. I think that Reddam and O’Neill made the best decision given these unfortunate circumstances.
Gary Stevens, Hall of Fame Jockey and HRTV Commentator tweeted, "So sad." He posted later, "Hats off to Doug and the team."
Yes, it is disappointing that the drought continues. But it’s far better that another year goes by with no Triple Crown winner, than to tragically lose a magnificent horse who has contributed so much to the Sport of Kings. Good luck to Team I’ll Have Another . . . perhaps one of his babies will capture the prize to honor his fantastic dad.
What is your reaction to the story? Share in a comment.