Although “sound and happy,” I’ll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, has been pulled from Saturday’s Belmont States, eliminating a chance at the first Triple Crown since 1978.
Traner Doug O’Neill said during an interview on the The Dan Patrick Show that the championship horse “has a little problem with his left front leg.” He said the injury was not life-threatening but “not worth the risk” of running the race and risking further damage.
The trainer added that the injury was not life-threatening. “It’s a bummer, but far from tragic,” O’Neill said. Asked if his racing career was over, O’Neill responded, “If I had to wager…yes. [The horse] will be seeing a lot of mares and smoking a lot of cigarettes [in his post-racing career as a stud].”
The three-year-old colt had not lost in four races this year, including two California starts and the opening two legs of the Triple Crown. Trainers discovered tenderness this morning after an early-morning workout.
The news leaves Affirmed as the last Triple Crown winner in 1978. It is the first time since 1936 that the Derby and Preakness winner didn’t run in the Belmont. That year, it was Bold Venture and in 1932, Burgoo King skipped the race.