It's the horse who could have won it all. "I'll Have Another" was the favorite, positioned to win Saturday's Belmont Stakes until tendonitis retired the would-be champion.
Not too long ago, he was purchased on a stage in Ocala.
"Last year in April we sold "I'll Have Another" for $35,000, and it certainly exceeded our wildest dreams. And we hope every horse comes out of here and wins the Kentucky Derby," said Jay Friedman of Ocala Breeders' Sales Company.
"Silver Charm" one it in 1997. "I'll Have Another" was a contender for winning it all, too.
"That was my first disappointment with the Triple Crown, and I was hoping not to be disappointed again this year, but things happen," Friedman said.
"You can give him three to six months and start back with him, but obviously he's done, so much that it was unanimous. My brother and I and everyone at the barns (decided) to retire him. It is a bummer but, again, far from tragic. But it is very disappointing," said trainer Doug O'Neill.
"I'll Have Another" wasn't born in Florida, but you could say his career was. He was broken in and then trained just north of Ocala.
The rest you know, it's played out on national television," Friedman said.
With only eleven Triple Crown winners in history, "I'll Have Another" had the regional equestrian community galloping with hope that winner number twelve would potentially have roots in Florida.
"We've been looking forward to it now. It's been a big build up for three weeks and I guess I don't know how many tears were shed but it was a big, big disappointment. We want to see him try. If he doesn't make it he doesn't make it, it would have been really exciting," Friedman said.
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