To everyone's surprise on Friday afternoon, I'll Have Another's trainer Doug O'Neill announced that the colt would not be running in the Belmont Stakes for a shot at the Triple Crown and would retire. I'll Have Another led the morning parade and will also be honored with a retirement ceremony before the actual race takes place.
On Saturday, I'll Have Another's grooms will lead him to the paddock shortly after the conclusion of the Woodford Reserve Manhattan (5:37 p.m. post), and then walk him to the winner's circle where trainer Doug O'Neill will remove his saddle. The ceremony will occur at approximately 5:53 p.m. and will be shown live on NBC.
It's a bittersweet end to I'll Have Another's run, as it looked like horse racing would see its first Triple Crown winner in 34 years, but that's now going to have to wait.
"We felt that this would be a fitting ceremonial retirement for an incredible racehorse," O'Neill told Dan Silver of NYRA.com. "There are many fans who traveled from near and far to see I'll Have Another today, and we wanted to give them a chance to help us send him off to retirement."
For more on the Belmont Stakes and the race for the Triple Crown, stay with this StoryStream and check out SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. There, you'll also find A Beginner's Guide To Following Horse Racing and a glossary of horse racing terms.