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I'll Have Another Retired Due To Tendonitis: 2012 Belmont Stakes Takes Hit With Scratching Of Triple Crown Hopeful

A day before he was supposed to fight for the first Triple Crown since 1978 in the 2012 Belmont Stakes, I'll Have Another was retired during a press conference on Friday after experiencing the beginnings of tendonitis in his left front leg.

"This is extremely tough for all of us. Though it's far from tragic, no one died or anything like that, it's extremely disappointing. I feel so sorry for the whole team. We've had such an amazing run," said trainer Doug O'Neill.

O'Neill said that I'll Have Another's team started to notice some "loss of definition" in the horse's left front leg on Thursday, but the swelling went down enough for him to gallop Friday morning. When the swelling returned after the gallop, the team sent I'll Have Another to the doctor, who found the beginnings of tendinitis.

Though O'Neill admitted that "you could give him three-to-six months and start back with him," the team decided unanimously that I'll Have Another should be retired instead.

The horse still could have raced in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, but the team exercised caution and decided it was not in his best interest.

For more on the 2012 Belmont Stakes, please be sure to check out our blog And Down The Stretch They Come along with SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates.

I'll Have Another Scratched from Belmont Stakes 2012 (via sbnation)