Alpha, the 12th place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, will not run in the June 9 Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park after developing a fever, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Thursday.
McLaughlin said the situation was "unfortunate," but with the horse's temperature having spiked to 103 he would be held out of the Belmont.
Alpha was a 15-1 shot to win the Belmont Stakes in preliminary odds.
Affirmed's Owner Ready to Pass the TC Torch | BloodHorse.com
Affirmed, the last horse to sweep the Triple Crown. We’ve been hearing that now for 34 years. Eleven horses have won the first two legs since Affirmed in 1978 and all came up short in the Belmont Stakes. Some appeared worthy at the time of joining the 11 immortals that have accomplished racing’s most difficult feat, while others did not.
Patrice Wolfson, who owned Affirmed with her husband Louis under the banned Harbor View Farm, feels it’s time to pass the torch to a horse she believes is worthy to follow in the footsteps of Affirmed.
"There were years I felt it wasn’t the right time to relinquish (the title of ‘last Triple Crown winner’)," Wolfson said on a national teleconference. "But I think the time is right. This little guy (I'll Have Another) would be a worthy successor. He’s very tenacious in the stretch, he strides out beautifully in his gallops, and is a very exciting horse to watch. There’s something about him that reminds me a little of Affirmed, the way he wants to win. I just think it’s time. Racing needs a star and he could be a star."