ELMONT, N.Y. – Even the most amateur sprinter knows how important stretching is to a sprinter’s health.
However a lack of stretching is exactly what lead to I’ll Have Another pulling out of the Belmont Stakes this past Friday. In a practice race run on Thursday, I’ll Have Another pulled his left front tendon, dashing his hope to secure the first Triple Crown since Affirmed swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 1978.
The injury subsequently also lead to I’ll Have Another’s retirement from competitive horse racing.
“We tried to pound in his brain that he needed to stretch before sprinting. But you know what they say, horses brains are the size of a walnut,” said I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug O’Neill.
“After the injury we told him to walk it off, we even tried to rub some dirt in it, but to no avail he just couldn’t run Saturday.”
Despite pulling out of the Triple Crown due to a preventable injury, the colt I’ll Have Another says he has no regrets and is thankful for the opportunity. I’ll Have Another went on to say he is looking forward to retirement, especially next year’s breeding season where he has his eyes on several fillies.
“Neigh neigh neigh neigh neigh neigh neigh, haw haw, neigh, haw, neigh,” said I’ll Have Another.
I’ll Have Another doesn’t consider himself a fillies’ stallion but knows his recent accolades will score him some hay and oat points with the fillies.
“Neigh haw haw haw neigh neigh haw neigh haw neigh haw haw,” said I’ll Have Another.
O’Neill just hopes I’ll Have Another remembers to stretch come breeding season.
In the meantime I’ll Have Another will serve as the face of class action lawsuit lead by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (APSCA) against state racing commissions that fail to adopt rules that protect their horses. A registry for thoroughbred horses, the Jockey Club, estimates that 15 thoroughbreds die on American racetracks every week.
The APSCA blames racing commissions who allow horse trainers to inject their horses with drugs to overcome various injuries so the horse can race when it’s time whether the horse is healthy or not. I’ll Have Another’s trainer O’Neill is set to serve a 45-day suspension next month after the California Horse Racing Board found O’Neill committing a medical violation involving one of his horses in 2010.
“We are just lucky to have an alive face of this class action law suit,” said APSCA member Nancy Perry.
“We are grateful I’ll Have Another is willing to step up and tell his story to the world. The fact his trainer admits that he said to rub some dirt in it is disgusting.”
O’Neill defended his actions, however, saying APSCA stance is exactly what is wrong with today’s society.
“I’m tired of all of this safety first hogwash. Back in my day, horses ran with a broken leg, you know why? Because they loved the game,” said O’Neil.
“First you have football players whining they get head injuries. Like they didn’t know running full speed into another person’s head caused brain damage. It’s moronic. Now people are complaining horses may get a little high while they run? This is why America is no longer number one, because everybody is a bunch of sissies.”
While I’ll Have Another respects his former trainer, he says signing up for the class action lawsuit was the least he could do for his fellow stallion. I’ll Have Another plans to spend the rest of his time retired watching reruns of his favorite TV show Mister Ed while gorging on oats.
“Neigh neigh, haw haw neigh neigh neigh haw haw haw,” said I’ll Have Another.