I'll Have Another won't have another win at Belmont Stakes, but jockey sings his praises
(CBS News) NEW YORK - Horse racing's Triple Crown is a grueling competition. No horse has won it in 34 years, and it won't happen this year, either.
I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. But, he won't run in another race.
The vet called it a freak injury - tendonitis - in I'll Have Another's left front leg. But, it was serious enough to pull the colt out of the starting gate for Saturday's big race, the Belmont Stakes in Queens, New York.
"I'm afraid that history is going to have to wait for another day," owner Paul Reddam told CBS News.
Reddam and I'll Have Another's trainer Doug O' Neil made the decision after an early morning ride.
"it is a bummer, but it's far from tragic, but it is very disappointing," O'Neil said.
While there's no chance of a Triple Crown, I'll Have Another accomplished quite a lot.
"I'll Have Another has won the Kentucky Derby!" the announcer yelled during the Churchill Down's race.
Two weeks later, I'll Have Another did it again -- winning the Preakness by a nose.
"He ran down Bodemeister!" the Preakness announcer exclaimed.
The horse bought for a mere $35,000 was suddenly worth an estimated $6 million. Had he claimed the Triple Crown he would have been worth infinitely more. But his trainer -- who is already under the microscope for racing violations with other horses -- says he wasn't about to push it.
The last thing the team wanted was a repeat of what happened to another Triple Crown contender, Barbaro, who shattered his leg at the Preakness in 2006 and eventually had to be put down.
Although he becomes the first horse in 76 years to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown and not compete for the third, his career is hardly over. I'll Have Another will go to a breeding farm, where with any luck he will sire others with the same greatness.
There is a lot of potential there, said jockey Mario Gutierrez. He told CBS News he'd never ridden a horse like his one.
"After I got off him, I'm like, 'Oh my God, this is the real deal, this is unbelievable!'" Gutierrez said.
He said something was different about the horse in the way he moved and in his stride.
"He lets me do everything I want," Gutierrez explained. "Like if I need him early in the race and I ask him, he'll go for it. If I need him to relax in the back stretch, he'll do that too for me."
I'll Have Another likely won't ever run a race again. But he'll be remembered not for what he didn't do, but for the thrills he's given fans already.
© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.