I'll Have Another out of the Belmont Stakes
An undisclosed injury has taken I'll Have Another out of the Belmont Stakes and out of the running for the Triple Crown. A press conference is scheduled for 1 pm ET. There were indications this morning that something was amiss. Trainer Doug O'Neill took I'll Have Another to the track for his morning jog hours earlier than he had been going for the past three weeks. O'Neill then left the Belmont track without speaking to the media, and owner Paul Reddam was also not available. That was highly unusual for what had been a media-friendly group. "I was watching him this morning," said trainer Ken McPeek, who has two horses in Saturday's race -- Unstoppable U and Atigun. "I wanted to see what his energy level was like, his aura, and the screen [on his stall] was closed. I thought, 'What's that about?' There was people in there. It was a little unusual." Rumors began to circulate late morning that something was wrong with the horse, and O'Neill confirmed the shocking news on The Dan Patrick Show. "It's too bad," said McPeek. "It's a hard thing. I feel really bad for the connections. I feel terrible for them. Saturday's Belmont Stakes were highly anticipated, as I'll Have Another was on the cusp of becoming the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown. Never a favorite in any of his races, the three-year-old I'll Have Another was a 4/5 favorite to win the final leg of the horse racing's most elusive prize. "Now," McPeek said, "it's wide open."
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