Oh dear. The thoroughbred beauty, I’ll Have Another, who was a Triple Crown-winning hopeful, has not only had to pull out of the Belmont Stakes, but retire from racing altogether due to tendonitis.
“The winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes is too valuable as a potential sire to risk on the race track any longer. I’ll Have Another won’t be allowed to do much more than walk, but at least he’ll walk away from a game, and a difficult Triple Crown schedule, that claimed Barbaro and Eight Belles and crippled many others.
“Just a freakish thing,” O’Neill said. “When you have a human or equine athlete who gives 110 percent every time they step on the court or the track, you’re [susceptible] to injury. I’ve been hoping and praying he would stay injury-free and . . . it didn’t happen.”
I’ll Have Another had a chance to end the drought until the swelling in his left foreleg took him out of the Belmont and retired him from racing. Now he has joined the list of 11 other horses since Affirmed who won the Derby and Preakness but couldn’t complete the Triple Crown. Unlike I’ll Have Another, though, the others were given a chance.