No more for I’ll Have Another

Triple Crown bid scratched because of the colt’s swollen tendon

Doug O誰eill tends to the front left leg that dashed I値l Have Another痴 bid for the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion was scratched from the Belmont Stakes because of a swollen tendon. Enlarge photo

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Doug O誰eill tends to the front left leg that dashed I値l Have Another痴 bid for the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness champion was scratched from the Belmont Stakes because of a swollen tendon.

NEW YORK

The Triple Crown curse lives. This time the horse didn稚 even make it to the starting gate.

I値l Have Another痴 bid for the first Triple Crown in 34 years stunningly ended Friday when the chestnut colt was retired on the eve of the Belmont Stakes with an injury to his left front tendon.

的知 afraid history is going to have to wait for another day, said J. Paul Reddam, the colt痴 owner.

I値l Have Another, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes with stirring stretch drives, was the 4-5 early favorite to win the Belmont and become the 12th Triple Crown winner and first since Affirmed in 1978.

Instead, he値l make one final trip to the racetrack with his jockey Mario Gutierrez to lead the other Belmont horses during today痴 post parade no longer a prelude to greatness, but merely a wistful farewell.

滴e値l be my hero forever, a somber Gutierrez said. 展hat I値l Have Another did for me is so amazing. He brought happiness to my life.

Always the longest and toughest of the Triple Crown events, the 1ス-mile Belmont instantly was reduced to being just another big race.

The favorite痴 role fell to Dullahan, who ran third in the Derby and had been second in the morning line for the Belmont. He was made the 9-5 early choice.

Trainer Doug O誰eill said I値l Have Another was being retired because he developed swelling in his left front tendon that was the beginning of tendinitis.

典his is extremely tough for all of us. It痴 far from tragic, but it痴 extremely disappointing, he said.

O誰eill痴 brother, Dennis, said it was hard to tell anything was wrong just by looking at the horse.

滴e looks great. He痴 sound. He went great (Friday) morning. He looks super, (but) you just can稚 take a chance, he said. 滴e痴 too valuable of a horse, and we love him to death like all of them. You wouldn稚 run a horse if you think something might happen.

The scratch comes a day before an estimated 100,000 fans were expected to converge on the track in hopes of seeing, at long last, a Triple Crown winner a champion who would help resurrect a struggling racing industry.

I値l Have Another joined 11 other horses since Affirmed who won the Derby and the Preakness but were unable to complete a Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont, extending the longest gap between Triple winners to 35 years. The colt also became the third winner of the first two legs who was unable to run in the finale; Burgoo King in 1932 and Bold Venture in 1936 were the others.

的t痴 like completely letting the air out of a balloon, said Ken McPeek, who trains Belmont contenders Atigun and Unstoppable U.

Dale Romans, who trains Dullahan, said: 典his was going to be a special race, one of the biggest races of our time. I壇 rather have him in there. It would have been something special to beat him.

O誰eill said he first noticed something might be wrong with the colt Thursday, hours after his usual morning gallop.

展e prayed he kind of hit himself and that it was a little bit of skin irritation, he told a horde of media gathered outside the detention barn at Belmont Park.

O誰eill called an audible Friday and took his horse out to gallop at 5:30 a.m., three hours earlier than he had been working out in the days leading up to the race. He wanted to avoid the congestion created by all the Belmont horses going to the track at the same time.

的 thought he looked great on the track, and then cooling out, you could tell that swelling was back, and at that point I didn稚 feel very good, he said

A veterinarian confirmed the diagnosis and suggested O誰eill give the colt three to six months off, but O誰eill said he and his brother, along with Reddam and his wife, were unanimous in deciding to retire the colt who had won four consecutive Grade 1 races, starting with the Santa Anita Derby in April.

的 really thought he was going to run off (today) and really show something, Reddam said. 鉄o we were all a bit shocked, but we have to do what痴 best for the horse.