Doug O’Neill removing I’ll Have Another’s saddle for the final time during his retirement ceremony at Belmont Park.
I’ll Have Another’s retirement ceremony in the winner’s circle at Belmont Park.
Doug O’Neill removes I’ll Have Another’s saddle for the final time.
In response to jellyfishrawr
How exactly did O’Neill mess him up?
By getting him fit enough to win two of the biggest races in America? Or because I’ll Have Another was scratched from the third?
Did he ruin the horse by noticing that something was wrong, and instead of sticking him in his stall until the race and hoping that it was nothing, he went out of his way to examine it further?
Or was it that, after he realized that there was a problem, instead of not saying anything and running him anyway, he decided to call in a team of vets to look him over?
Or did he ruin him by deciding not to race him on a bad tendon? Because really, he’s far worse off now than he would be if he had broken down on the track. Obviously.
At least now I’ll Have Another is mostly pain free. He can walk, he can go out for grass, he’ll be able to have some fun with the ladies, and he even got a hero’s sendoff to end his racing career. In my opinion, that’s a lot better than being taken off the track in a horse ambulance.
Or, you mean that O’Neill is such a bad trainer that he somehow caused the injury. To which I must tell you that a horse can injure itself by simply rolling in its stall. And the trainer isn’t going to sit there and watch over it every minute of the day to make sure it doesn’t accidentally bang its leg on a water bucket.
Also, some horses are actually predisposed to certain injuries, either because of a past injury that comes back, or even just basic conformation faults. The only way O’Neill could have caused the injury himself is if he took a baseball bat and started whacking away at the back of the horse’s leg.
Truthfully, by doing what O’Neill did, he basically ensured I’ll Have Another’s continued existence in this world. And if he were a bad trainer, he would have run him anyway.
I understand that people are angry and upset that there will be no Triple Crown winner. And I understand that people are devestated that I’ll Have Another was retired (that was an owner decision, I’d like to point out, and the trainer had no say in the matter). But at the same time, people have to realize that there was no way (morally) that O’Neill could have sent that horse out on the track in his condition.
The fact that he understood the scope of the situation that he was in, and still did the right thing by the horse, makes him the better man.
So, go ahead and believe that he “ruined” the horse, if you want. But you should also be aware that, had he gone a different path, the day may have ended far worse than it did. (see; Ruffian, Charismatic, Barbaro, Giant Ryan …)