I'll Have Another, the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, is out of Saturday's Belmont Stakes because of a leg injury and has been retired from racing, his team said.
Trainer Doug O'Neill said the 3-year-old colt began developing tendonitis in his left foreleg. He called the development "freakish."
"Yesterday, he galloped great, but the afternoon we noticed some loss of definition in his left front leg to which, like every other owner and trainer, we prayed he just kind of hit himself and it was just a little bit of skin irritation.
"We did him up in a special poultice. This morning, he looked great, so I thanked the racing gods there, and we did just a little easy gallop with him today. I thought he looked great on the track, and then cooling out, you could tell that swelling was back and at that back, I didn't feel very good."
O'Neill got a veterinarian to examine the horse, and he determined the injury was "the start of tendonitis in his left front tendon."
O'Neill said the horse could have rested for several months and got started again. But he said I'll Have Another has "done so much that it was unanimous" among the owners and trainers "to retire him."
"It is a bummer," O'Neill said. "Far from tragic, but it is very disappointing."
J. Paul Reddam, the owner, thanked his training team and said, "it was a hell of a run."
"I know they're all personally very disappointed, of course, that he didn't get to show his stuff."
Reddam thought the horse, purchased last year for $35,000, would race and "really show something."