Reporting Denise Koch
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A horse’s final push to become the 12th Triple Crown winner in history ends before it begins. With the nation hoping and waiting for racing’s next Triple Crown winner, I’ll Have Another is forced to retire.
Denise Koch has the story.
The vet called it a freak injury– tendonitis in I’ll Have Another’s left front leg, but it was serious enough to pull the colt out of the starting gate for Saturday’s big race.
“I’m afraid that history is going to have to wait for another day,” Paul Reddam, I’ll Have Another’s owner, said.
Reddam and his trainer, Doug O’Neill, made the decision after an early morning ride.
“It is a bummer, but it’s far from tragic. But it is very disappointing,” O’Neill said.
While there’s no chance of a Triple Crown, I’ll Have Another accomplished quite a lot.
“I’ll Have Another has won the Kentucky Derby!”
He was a longshot to win at Churchill Downs but came from behind to do it with ease.
Two weeks later, I’ll Have Another did it again, winning the Preakness here in Baltimore by a nose.
“He ran down Bodemeister!”
The horse, bought for a mere $35,000, was suddenly worth an estimated $6 million. Had he claimed the Triple Crown, he would have been worth infinitely more.
But his trainer, who is already under the microscope for racing violations with other horses, says he wasn’t about to push it.
The last thing the team wanted was a repeat of what happened to another Triple Crown contender, Barbaro, who shattered his leg at the Preakness in 2006 and eventually had to be put down.
Although I’ll Have Another is the first horse in 76 years to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown and not compete for the third, his career is hardly over.
I’ll Have Another will go to a breeding farm where, with any luck, he will sire others with the same greatness.
The champion horse and his jockey will make one final trip to the race track as they lead the other horses out for Saturday’s post parade.