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2012 Belmont Stakes: Doug O'Neill Explains Why I'll Have Another Withdrew From Belmont

On Friday, I'll Have Another's Triple Crown dreams officially ended before they ever had a chance to begin. Winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, the horse was one win at the Belmont shy of completing the first Triple Crown in horse racing since 1978 when Affirmed accomplished the feat. Later on Friday afternoon, I'll Have Another's trainer Doug O'Neill addressed the media to explain the situation.

The decision was made early Friday morning when the Triple Crown hopeful was taken out on a morning gallop. Despite looking good according to O'Neill, the group involved with the horse was concerned with swelling that had appeared in the left front tendon.

After having a doctor look at the horse, it was determined that it was the beginning of tendonitis.

"This has been an incredible ride and incredible run," O'Neill said via a televised press conference on ESPN. "I've taken plenty of mental notes and I know we'll be back here next year."

Of course, O'Neill will be returning without I'll Have Another. The group involved with the horse has determined unanimously to retire I'll Have Another from racing. In retirement, I'll Have Another could bring millions of dollars in stud fees.

For more on the Belmont Stakes, stick with SB Nation Minnesota's Story Stream. You can also check out And Down The Stretch They Come, SB Nation's home for all things horse racing.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.