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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

IHA Post Parade Scratched

6/9/2012

By Dick Downey

Belmont Park will host a retirement ceremony in the winner’s circle Saturday for I'll Have Another, and he will not lead the post parade prior to the Belmont Stakes as planned on Friday.

I’ll Have Another will be taken to the paddock shortly after the conclusion of the Woodford Reserve Manhattan, the tenth race, with a 5:37 p.m. post time. Apparently, the plan is to saddle him and walk him to the winner’s circle where trainer Doug O’Neill will remove the saddle. The ceremony will occur at approximately 5:50 p.m. and will be televised by NBC. The Belmont Stakes is race 11.

“We felt that this would be a fitting ceremonial retirement for an incredible racehorse,” said O’Neill. “There are many fans who traveled from near and far to see I’ll Have Another today, and we wanted to give them a chance to help us send him off to retirement.”

The chestnut son of Flower Alley earned $2,693,600, most of which came in four wins in four starts this year -- the Grade II Robert B. Lewis, Grade I Santa Anita Derby, Grade I Kentucky Derby and Grade I Preakness.

A plan hatched by the New York Racing Association (NYRA) yesterday would have had Mario Gutierrez on board I'll Have Another leading the Belmont Stakes post parade. The idea came under criticism because the horse has been in active training and would think he was about to start in a race.

There's no word yet from NYRA as to what role Gutierrez will play in today's ceremony. He has mounts in Saturday's second, sixth and ninth races at Belmont Park. He'll ride Last Cat in a maiden special weight (race 2), Politicallycorrect in the Easy Goer Stakes (race 6) and Brian in the Grade II Woody Stephens Stakes (race 9).

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