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I'll Have Another Scratched from Belmont Stakes

I'll Have Another injury
Photo: Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner

Trainer Doug O'Neill announced on Dan Patrick's radio show that I'll Have Another will be scratched from the Belmont Stakes.

 

When asked by Dan Patrick if we would see I'll Have Another race again, O'Neill responded that if he had to gamble we have already seen I'll Have Another's last race. 

 

There will be a press conference at 1pm ET.

 

TVG reporters are speculating that it is a tendon issue that has caused the scratch.  Apparently, veterinarians were at the barn with ultrasound machines, which would be consistent with a tendon injury.   

 

Note:  The above photo was taken Friday morning at Belmont Park.

 

UPDATE: From the I’ll Have Another Press Conference:

Statement from trainer Doug O’Neill:

“It has been an incredible ride and an incredible run.  I’ve taken so many notes, a lot of mental notes, I know we’re going to be back here again.

 

I know some people have asked if I thought the detention barn had anything to do with this.  And absolutely not.  It was just a freakish thing.  He has been shown a little bit of, you know he’s been a little quiet the last few days of galloping, but his legs have been great.  

 

Yesterday, he galloped great, but in the afternoon we noticed some loss of definition in his left front leg. To which, like every other owner and trainer we prayed he just kind of hit himself and it was just a little bit of skin irritation. We did him up in a special poultice.  This morning he looked great, so I thanked the racing gods there.  

 

And we did just a little easy gallop with him today.  I thought he looked great on the track. Cooling out, you could tell the swelling was back. At that point I didn’t feel very good.  At that point I talked to Mr. Reddam and immediately we got Dr. Hunt over here. 

 

He scanned him and said it was just the start of tendinitis in his left front tendon.  And you know you could give him 3 to 6 months and start back with him.  But he’s done so much, it was unanimous between the Reddams, my brother and I and everyone at the barn to retire him.

 

It is a bummer, far from tragic, but it is very disappointing.”

 

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Older Comments about I'll Have Another Scratched from Belmont Stakes...

That should not to the extent they do now.
AnnaK. I think we need to gradually increase the distance of our races. Too many have cut down. Many years ago when the great American breeders wanted to strengthen the breed here in the states, they looked to Europe to bring in some fresh blood. Perhaps we need to do that again. Perhaps we should look even farther afield and look at some of the Australian runners who are Melbourne Cup winners. Another issue is clearly the amount drugs in our horses. We seem to be developing horses that are incapable of running without lasix etc. another issue which many will think I am stupid about pointing out is that the taxes laws for hobby farms favor a quicker profit in order to have the deductions. Extending the number of years you need to make a profit in the business might help. Years ago the great owners, Phipps, Bradley, Whitney's, Chenerys etc had large breeding farm that bred horses to race. Today we have changed that philosophy so that we race to breed which in my opinion has been detrimental to the sport. We need to have bonuses for horses that stay on the track after 3yr old. Changes in breeding take time to implement. Nothing will happen overnight. But I think there needs to be a very serious conversation about the problems we are facing. This is not to say that horses never broke down before, they did. But to the extent they are now. Only my opinion.
Yes, fawk or frak. Hear repeatedly how fragile they are, but Citation runs a race in between the Preakness and the Belmont, all these horses running a truckload of races in a year, mere days apart? So Buckpasser, summoning your inner Federico Tesio, what to do??(And don't tell me he's not in there)
Glad to hear he has ket it in perspective. It certainly is not tragic. But a major disappointment.
Breeding is a real problem. No doubt. Little or no stamina. Too much inbreeding also a problem. But another issue is that horses don't run as often as Johnny Nerud said you can't improve the breed if you breed a sire who has only started in for races to mare that hasn't run at all and expect to get a horse that can run twenty races.
It's a real shame that this happened to a great Triple Crown hopeful. I'll have another has a poor history of leg issues, and when you look at his past this does not come up as a surprise. I had an unraced TB that aquired a tendonitis just like I'll Have Another's, same leg, same spot. It was a simple case of weakness. He still was a great jumper and was never lame from it, but it required a lot of attention and care. The Jockey Club really has to take a serious look at the breed to strenghthen the bone in modern day TBs. When I look at the Horses I had twenty years ago, their bone was so much more substantial than the horses being bred now. Oh well, I guess I'll go for Union Rags in the race tomorrow.
Breeders need to take a strong look at their breeding style if the want to see another triple crown winner. Most of the horse are bred for 1 1/4 with speed. What happen about mixing speed with stamina? No wonder the JCGC is no longer a 2 miles race. I really don't like the direction US breeding is going, too many weak horses.
This is crazy, I just made plans with my friends to go to Belmont and now I saw this...I don't think I will go also I want to see UR in action. Sad but glad the caught the problem before the ruin the horse.
I was curious to see how IHA would handle Belmont, but I'm not surpised at this. Racehorses nowadays are more fragile, and it's even harder to win the triple crown when the horses are less sturdy. I remember posting that comment about a month ago, and getting flamed by other posters. I was told "Well, IHA is a big strong horse, and he knows it." Well, not so strong, now, huh? Strong horses break down or get sick all the time, and sadly, this proves what I've said all along.
What a shocker, just one day away from trying to make history by displacing the MIGHTY AFFIRMED as racing's last Triple Crown winner. Just show's how tuff it is to win the Triple Crown and that's why there has only been 11 winner's of the T.C. The horse's of today are just not tuff enough as past horse's were as evident by today's shocking announcement and retirement of IHA.
The detention bard had nothing to do with it, the only reason they had that barn because of his jackass trainer.
Sad news but I would not want a Tim Tam situation where he breaks his leg in the stretch or a Charismatic who does the same. I think that would have been worse for horse racing. As to the detention barn, I never defend the NYRA, but in this case they are damned if they did and damned if they didn't. Whether you agree or not O'neill will start a suspension, the NyRA was under fire for the takeout fees on exotics, they had to prove there was no chance of fixing this race, hence the detention barn. Would it have been better if IHA won but there was an ugly undercurrent of was he juiced or not. Far worse in my opinion.
I have waited 38 years for a triple crown, but I will keep waiting take our baby home and take good care of him!!!
put up with your stupid detention barn!!!!
I wish all the other trainers and owners would pull their horeses from the race, it would so the people at Belmont we wont
Thank God they found it before he raced. I have had tendonitis and one minute you can walk and the next you cannot lift your leg. God bless him.. It is so disappointing but so happy he is alive to go on.
3 weeks of worth of hype, and once again we get squat!!
Well at least he'll be healthy and happy and maybe produce offspring that can end the Triple Crown drought in the near future, looks like he'll probably be retired by the end of the year.
I was curious to see how IHA would handle Belmont, but I'm not surpised at this. Racehorses nowadays are more fragile, and it's even harder to win the triple crown when the horses are less sturdy. I remember posting that comment about a month ago, and getting flamed by other posters. I was told "Well, IHA is a big strong horse, and he knows it." Well, not so strong, now, huh? Strong horses break down or get sick all the time, and sadly, this proves what I've said all along.
This really does blow, but honestly, if I were a groom, from here on out, i'd wonder why I was wasting my time sitting on a stool holding a shank while trying to keep my equine charge still as he stands in a bucket of ice water on race day.

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