Press Conference following the Scratch of I'll Have Another from Saturday's Belmont Stakes
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another was withdrawn from Saturday's 144th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes and retired, a little more than 24 hours before his attempt to become the first horse in 34 years to win the Triple Crown. In a ceremonial tribute, jockey Mario Gutierrez will be aboard I'll Have Another as he leads the post parade for the Belmont Stakes (post time 6:40 pm, NBC 4:30-7 pm). Trainer Doug O'Neill said I'll Have Another had developed a swelling in his left front tendon that was the beginning of tendonitis. "This is extremely tough for all of us. It's far from tragic but it's extremely disappointing," said O'Neill, who described the injury as a "freakish thing" during a 1 pm news conference at Belmont Park. "He has 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 ... we prayed he kind of hit himself and that it was a little bit of skin irritation. We did him up in a special poultice, and this morning he looked great. We did just a little easy gallop with him this morning. I thought he looked great on the track. "Cooling out, you could tell the swelling was back," he said. "I talked with Mr. [J. Paul] Reddam and immediately we got Dr. [Jim] Hunt over here. He scanned him and he said it was the start of tendonitis in his [superficial] left front tendon and ... you give him three to six ...
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