Fishy fishy fishy fishy fishy.
He was galloped this AM.
The trainer has contradicted himself multiple times already, and has a laundry list of past offenses for drugging his horses.
Im sorry but no athletic career (IN ANY SPORT) was ever ended over "tendonitis". I smell a rat. Or, um. Drugs. My heart goes out to the name of a horse that will be forever tarnished because the circumstances surrounding him scratching, just hours after turning in a no-issue workout... read this then tell me how just hours before (and hours before seeing the "detention barn" with such tight security) this horse went from and I QUOTE: "O'Neill declared his colt "fit and ready to go."" at a 7:42 AM workout to a sudden, career-ending tendonitis?! Really?
At 7:42 AM this morning the horse is sound and ready to go. I'll Have Another goes for early gallop at Belmont
At a later interview, "He looks great. He's sound. He went great this morning. He looks super (but) you just can't take a chance. He's too valuable of a horse and we love him to death like all of them," he said. "You wouldn't run a horse if you think something might happen."
Earlier in the same interview "Yesterday he galloped great, but in the afternoon we noticed some loss of definition in his left front leg," he said, addressing the media outside the Belmont barns while I'll Have Another grazed nearby. "We did just an easy gallop today. I thought he looked great on the track, and then cooling out, you could tell the swelling was back." I'll Have Another out of Belmont, retired - FOX 10 News - Phoenix, AZ | KSAZ-TV
Now, maybe i'm just crazy, but in my 30+ years around horses, if he was galloped around 6AM, he'd be cooled out shortly thereafter, at LEAST by 7AM, right? So then how was it that at a 7:42 interview he was fit and ready to go, yet at an interview later in the afternoon, you could tell that cooling out the swelling was back (and then miraculously better in time for the interview and press conference where they zoomed in on his front legs).
You tell me - best interests of the horse at heart, or too tight security to slip by drugs and afraid of either being caught or a career ending flop running without?
Even worse, all the speculation in the world still won't put us any closer to the truth. Mostly, I feel bad for the horse. IF the tendonitis is legit (which I question) I agree he should not run tomorrow. However, is that career ending? Absolutely not. The Travers is 3 mos away. The Breeder's cup is 6. Why retire a champion horse for a minor, easily treatable injury? Unless of course, you can no longer drug the horse and he won't be able to win anyway? Also why not officially announce he is going to be avail at stud? Tendonitis in a foreleg has NO bearing on a horse's ability to breed, and bookings start now for coverings next Jan - April. That is of course, unless you need something out of the system before you make an "official" announcement and the horse has to be tested and cleared to stand for the JC...
I still say I smell a rat. Either way, it's disheartening as a huge racing fan, as I really wanted to see this one in the winner circle. Sadly, with this trainer's past record of drugging horses and the controversy surrounding past wins, i'm not surprised. Just saddened that it has to come at the price of more damage to an already floundering sport that was once regarded "The Sport of Kings".
It's a sad day, indeed.