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By Rick Bozich, WDRB Sports
ELMONT, N.Y. -- I'll Have Another's improbable push toward horse racing's first Triple Crown since 1978 ended with another dose of heartbreak for racing Friday. A injury to a tendon in the colt's left front leg forced trainer Doug O'Neill to scratch the colt.
I'll Have Another, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, will be retired by owner Paul Reddam and he will not race in the Belmont Stakes Saturday.
"He's given us a great run," O'Neill said.
O'Neill said that he noticed the colt's demeanor had seemed quieter Thursday afternoon. There was change in the muscle definition in I'll Have Another's left front leg.
But he seemed better Friday morning when the colt went to the track for a gallop at 5:30. O'Neill said that after the colt cooled out, he noticed swelling had returned to the leg. A veterinarian administered a scan of the leg. The diagnosis was tendonitis.
O'Neill said the colt could have returned to racing after 3-to-6 months of rest, but the decision was made to retire him.
Trainer Kenny McPeek, who has two Belmont horses stabled in Barn 2 near I'll Have Another, said he noticed several unusual things at the barn Friday morning. McPeek said that he tried to look at the colt twice, simply to check his energy level, but the door to his stall was closed both times.
The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.