By Dick Downey
--Originally posted 11:28 a.m. ET
--Last updated 1:51 p.m. ET
I'll Have Another has been scratched from the 144th Belmont Stakes after being diagnosed with tendonitis, and he's being retired from racing.
The story was broken Friday morning at about 11:10 a.m. ET by HRTV, and a TVG tweet at 11:24 a.m. ET said, "Have various sources at Belmont telling us it's a tendon issue with I'll Have Another." Then at 11:27 a.m. ET, The Dan Patrick Show tweeted, "I'll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont." Trainer Doug O'Neill was doing a live telephone interview with Patrick.
O'Neill told Patrick that I'll Have Another had "a little bit of filling" in his left front leg Thursday afternoon, but that he "looked perfect" early Friday morning before training. The trainer said the swelling came back after training Friday and that a vet was called in at that point.
O'Neill said the cause of the injury couldn't be determined but that the colt could have hit himself with a hind foot, or that hyperextension of the leg could have occurred due to the colt's long stride.
The colt had not put in a workout since the Preakness. O'Neill said early last week that I'll Have Another would gallop up to the race.
Owner Paul Reddam started a 1:00 press conference by announcing that the colt has been retired. The colt was standing nearby Reddam with O'Neill. --Photo by Ron Mitchell
After thanking his team, O'Neill said the detention barn mandated by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board "absolutely did not" have anything to do with the injury.
Reddam and O'Neill said the colt will be taken back to Hollywood Park Sunday or Monday and that stallion plans will be discussed after a few days.
O'Neill said the colt has tendonitis on a superficial tendon, and that he doesn't have a bowed tendon. "This is the beginning of a (bowed) tendon," O'Neill said, while commenting that the colt would never run again.
Reddam said that there was no problem until Friday morning, contradicting what O'Neill told Patrick earlier in the day. "The horse is not lame. He could have run tomorrow," Reddam said, indicating that the retirement decision was made in the best interest of the horse.
Link to Dan Patrick Interview
Bedlam broke out in the Belmont Park press box with the news Friday morning. --Photo by Pat Cummings
I'll Have Another joins Burgoo King (1932) and Bold Venture (1936) as Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners that were unable to run in the Belmont due to injury.
I'll Have Another and Mario Gutierrez will lead the Belmont Stakes Post Parade on Saturday, according to the New York Racing Association (NYRA).
A revised morning line was released making Dullahan the 9-5 favorite and Union Rags the 5-2 second choice. Before the news broke, I'll Have Another was 4-5, Dullahan was 5-1 and Union Rags was 6-1.