Epicharis out of 2017 Belmont Stakes Race After Phenylbutazone Diagnosis

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 10, 2017

ELMONT, NY - JUNE 05:  Belmont Stakes contender Epicharis walks outside his paddock after training prior to the 149th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park on June 5, 2017 in Elmont, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

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 BalanEpicharis 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. 

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