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I’ll Have Another scratch disappointing, but the race must go on!

June 8, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Scratched in the morning, retired in the afternoon, reactions to the “scratch of the century”

It’s not as if we haven’t seen it before, these late scratches in Triple Crown races—remember I Want Revenge a few years back in the Derby? How about Uncle Mo for the Derby just last year? The “what-if”s were plentiful, but I’ll Have Another’s scratch from tomorrow’s (June 9) Belmont Stakes, in which he would have been going for the Triple Crown with two jewels already in the bag, is on a different scale.

On the Belmont Park back side, in a hastily arranged press conference, trainer Doug O’Neill said, “This is extremely tough for all of us.”

The cause of the scratch is initial signs of tendonitis in the horse’s left front. The injury is not life-threatening; in fact, many horses race with similar injuries. “Could he run and compete?” O’Neill questioned, “Yes. But would it be in his best interests? No.”

“He's not 100 percent, and I ain't taking any chances,” said O’Neill.

Alex Waldrop, President and CEO of the NTRA, weighed in on the decision: "It's very disappointing news obviously, but the connections of I'll Have Another are to be commended for placing their horse's best interests first and foremost. The health and safety of the Thoroughbred must always be the paramount consideration regardless of any other circumstances."

By the afternoon, owner J. Paul Reddam confirmed that he would retire I’ll Have Another from racing.

The race must go on

As every owner, trainer, jockey, and punter knows, a scratch can only change the fortunes of the remaining contestants. To that end, TRJ—The Racing Journal presents its “tools for greater enjoyment” of the 2012 Belmont Stakes.

First off, here are the updated odds (post position, horse, jockey, odds):

1. Street Life, Lezcano, 8-to-1
2. Unstoppable U, Alvarado, 20-to-1
3. Union Rags, Velazquez, 3-to-1
4. Atigun, Leparoux, 15-to-1
5. Dullahan, Castellano, 9-to-5
6. Ravelo's Boy, Solis, 30-to-1
7. Five Sixteen, Napravnik, 30-to-1
8. Guyana Star Dweej, Desormeaux, 30-to-1
9. Paynter, Smith, 7-to-2
10. Optimizer, Nakatani, 15-to-1
11. I'll Have Another, scratched
12. My Adonis, Dominguez, 15-to-1

Horse Race Insider has its Media Selections page at

And finally, we present IGotTheHorseRightHere Roshau’s Belmont Superboard—the colors, the buzz, the odds . . . ( okay, don’t forget to update the odds—IGotTheHorseRightHere put together the Superboard before the scratch). Download the Belmont Superboard at