Los Angeles Times' Houston Mitchell reported Friday - a little more than 24 hours away from Belmont Stakes - that 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another will not run in the Triple Crown finale Saturday, citing "undisclosed" injuries.
Trainer Doug O'Neill appeared on the "Dan Patrick Show" to confirm the horse's absence from the Belmont, and a press conference is being held Friday at 1 p.m.
With I'll Have Another out of the lineup for Saturday's Belmont running, here are a notable names to consider when watching:
Street Life: Street Life has the reputation as a deep closer in the field for this year’s Belmont. With not much in the field in terms of early runners who try to set a frantic pace, Street Life will try to be one of the few who dictates things early. Look for this horse to jump out, only to drop back late.
Union Rags: Slotted in the inside spot at the gate, Union Rags will have a tough time in a boxed-in area, where he hasn’t done as well. Although a formidable racer, this horse will have a tough go at it being contained to the inside, and will probably be forced to drop back early to establish position.
Paynter: Talk about perfect skills and drawing here. Slotted at No. 9, Paynter is one of the strongest contenders participating in the Belmont. Jockey Mike Smith will have options available right out of the gate. He could break Paynter early to establish pace and the lead, or decide to strike late, in hopes of catching the leaders at the end and make a run for the win. All of that will be decided once the gate opens, but look for Paynter to be in the mix end to end.
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