Jockey Mario Gutierrez reacts after riding I'll Have Another to victory in the 138th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs, Louisville
Update: The AP is reporting I'll Have Another has now been retired from racing.
By Reid Cherner and Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY
Triple Crown hopeful I'll Have Another is out of the Belmont.
Doug O'Neill joined the Dan Patrick Show on Friday to break the news.
"I'll Have Another is officially out of the Belmont," O'Neill said.
The chestnut colt was trying to become the 12th Triple Crown winner and the first since Affirmed in 1978.
O'Neill talked about what a let-down it is. "It's not tragic, but it's a huge disappointment," O'Neill said.
Patrick asked O'Neill if I'll Have Another has raced his last race. "If I had to wager ... I would say yes." He said the immediate treatment would be "three months of a whole lot of nothing."
O'Neill said he will walk the horse in front of the media at his 1 p.m. ET press conference to show everyone that the horse is doing well. But he has the beginning of the injury and they can't run him.
"We scanned his left front leg and he's got the start of tendinitis going on in his front leg. He's not 100 percent and we ain't taking any chances, O'Neill said. "I'm just so bummed for the horse, obviously, and then for the the whole team."
"And then we can start back with him. But he's valuable and I know he's going to have tons of options with different breeding farms to have him stand somewhere. ... I'd love to see him back in my barn in a few months but realistically he'll probably be seeing a lot of beautiful mares and smoking a lot of cigarettes.".
He was the 12th horse since Affirmed to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes but not win the Belmont Stakes.
In 1999, Charismatic broke his leg coming into the turn for home. He was able to finish the race but finished third. In 2008 Big Brown did not finish the race after jockey Kent Desormeaux stopped him from running.
The colt, bought by J. Paul Reddam for $35,000 was considered to be worth about $6 million after the Preakness win. Only plunging breeding prices kept him from being more valuable.
I'll Have Another beat Bodemeister in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes when he ran him down twice in the chase for home. Bodemeister will not run in the Belmont. Dullahan and Union Rags are now considered the favorites for the Belmont. Dullahan was third in the Kentucky Derby and Union Rags, seventh. Neither ran in the Preakness Stakes.
Patrice Wolfson, owner of Affirmed, said she was ready to share the spotlight but her comment earlier the week now seems especially sad.
"There's something about this chestnut that reminds me a little tiny bit of Affirmed, the way he wants to win," Patrice Wolfson said. "And maybe it's just time. Maybe racing could use a star, and he could possibly be the star. It is thrilling to watch him run."
Earlier this week, win or lose the Triple Crown, O'Neill said he was hopful I'll Have Another would continue to race after the Belmont Stakes instead of going straight into the big money world of breeding.
"One of the great things about I'll Have Another's owner, Mr. Paul Reddam, he's a huge fan of the game, and I know if I'll Have Another stays injury free Paul won't rush him into the breeding shed and breed him. I think one of the problems our industry has is that we have a hard time falling in love with horses because oftentimes once they get really good the temptation of the financial end of it is so strong that most of us have to take the money and retire him. But knowing Paul if the horse is right he'd much rather see the horse compete and I think be great for the game as I'll Have Another is gaining more and more fans. It would be nice to see him around for another year or two if the racing gods are looking over him."