Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another's Triple Crown Scratch

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Belmont Stakes 2012: I'll Have Another's Triple Crown Scratch
Al Bello/Getty Images

Horse racing's next Triple Crown champion will not be crowned in 2012.

Early Friday morning, I'll Have Another took a light gallop around the track at Belmont Park in preparation for his biggest race yet.

Trainer Doug O'Neill noticed some swelling in the horse's leg after the run and brought in some specialists to investigate.

A veterinary scan revealed a swollen tendon in the horse's left front leg.

A press conference was held at 1PM ET Friday where Doug O'Neill and company officially announced I'll Have Another's withdrawal from the 144th Running of the Belmont Stakes.

I'll Have Another was given a three-six month recovery time before he could race again, but it was unanimously decided that the horse will be retired instead.

This comes as a major shock and disappointment to horse racing fans everywhere as yet another Triple Crown hopeful falls short of history.

I'll Have Another is the 12th horse since Affirmed's 1978 victory and the 22nd horse all-time to come up short at the last leg of the Triple Crown.

This is the first time since Bold Venture's tendon injury in 1936 that a horse has won the first two races and did not compete in the Belmont Stakes.

What does this mean for tomorrow's race?

Well, it certainly looks as though the scratch will pave the way for either Dullahan or Union Rags to come out on top.

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With the four-five favorite out of the mix, this also throws a cork screw into betting everywhere and opens up the door for some potential long shots to at least hit the board.

The expected record breaking attendance and viewership will most definitely decline.

The rejuvenation of horse racing, which many expected would come along with a Triple Crown champion, will have to wait as well.

It's a sad day for all after seeing such a talented horse go down in such an anti-climactic fashion, far from a fairytale ending.

I'll Have Another will not race Saturday, and horse racing will not have another Triple Crown champion.

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