I’ll Have Another, who won both the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, was removed from the field in this weekend’s Belmont Stakes ‘ effectively ending the thoroughbred’s attempt to become the twelfth US Triple Crown winner in history.
At a Friday press conference, owner J. Paul Reddam announced that the thoroughbred was injured and he will not only be removed from the race Saturday but he will be retired from any further racing. The reason I’ll Have Another was scratched from the field was because of a swelling in his left front tendon, according to trainer Doug O’Neill.
I’ll Have Another was not the favorite in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes, but he was twice able to pass the leader Bodemeister, who was the pace setting horse in both those races, to take the victories. The last race was won in the final lengths. Bodemeister will also not race in the Belmont Stakes Saturday. Before the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby. All of these races were won with Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez.
Dale Romans, who is Dullahan’s trainer, reacted to the news, “It’s devastating. I thought this was going to be one of the greatest races in history, and I wanted the opportunity to be part of it.” Dullahan raced in this year’s Kentucky Derby and took third place.
Only eleven horses have ever won the Triple Crown in the United States. In order to win the Triple Crown, a horse has to race and win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The first Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton in 1919 and the last was Affirmed in 1978. The dry spell will continue at least another year ‘ the 34th year without a Triple Crown victory.