The 2017 Belmont Stakes has lost another top contender, with Epicharis forced to withdraw due to a phenylbutazone diagnosis.
Per Bloodhorse's Claire Novak and Jeremy Balan, Epicharis has been unable to train for "several days" and received treatment for lameness in his right front limb before it was determined he would be unable to run on Saturday.
Epicharis becomes the second top contender at the Belmont Stakes that has been forced to withdraw from the race due to injury. He was getting the second-best odds for Saturday's event at 7-2, per OddsShark.com.
Classic Empire, who was the runner-up at the Preakness Stakes, is unable to run due to an abscess in his right foot.
The Belmont Stakes was going to be Epicharis' big debut in the United States. The Kiyoshi Hagiwara-trained horse has been running primarily in Japan, and his most recent event was at the UAE Derby in March.