Farmington, N.Y.— On Friday, the owners of I’ll Have Another announced he will not be racing on Saturday at the Belmont Stakes because of a tendon injury.
I’ll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Many people thought the horse had a chance of winning the first Triple Crown in 34 years.
But with the latest injury, I’ll Have Another’s career as a racehorse is over.
It’s horses like I’ll Have Another who get another chance at the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program (FLTAP) at Finger Lakes Casino and Race Track
Brian Moore is FLTAP’s board president. He says the program is the first of its kind in the country.
“We adopt out horses that exclusively come from the Finger Lakes Race Track,” Moore says. “The owners are able to donate their horses to us. We’re able to work with the horses and match their skills and potential adopter’s skills.”
The horses become polo, hunting or trail horses. One thing they never do again is race.
“Their racing careers are over,” says Moore. “They are not allowed to race again. We try to do right by the animals and having this program allows them to retire at the right time.”
Many of the horses come to FLTAP simply because they’ve gotten tired of racing and have gotten slower. Some come because of injuries. Some of the horses have an injury like the one I’ll Have Another has.
The Triple Crown contender’s withdrawal from the Belmont Stakes highlights the fact that racehorses get injured often and are fragile.
The fact that there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in more than three decades also raises questions.
“The fact that there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner in 34 years heightens a lot of opinions out there on why there hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner,” says Steve Martin, the senior director of marketing for the race track. “Is it the breeding or the way they train them? There are a lot of theories out there. It’s hard to say what it is.”
When horses are injured they spend time at a farm rehabilitating. Once they recover, they come to FLTAP to be adopted out and start a career in a more low-key, low-stress environment.
“The horses have given their all for the owners, their trainers and their fans,” says Martin. “You want to see them have a productive career in their post-racing activities.”