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J. Paul Reddam
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The owner of I'll Have Another says he sold his Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner to a farm in Japan for $10 million, a price that far exceeded any amount he was offered in the United States.
Trainer Graham Motion has been there before, making the impossibly tough choice not to run a horse dealing with an injury. It was "devastating" for him to hear of I'll Have Another being scratched from the Belmont Stakes with a tendon injury that robbed fans of a Triple Crown bid.
The world was primed to see I'll Have Another turn the corner at Belmont Park on Saturday evening with the Triple Crown on the line. But as the other horses in the Belmont Stakes make that run, the colt who captured the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes will not be with them.
There's nothing in sports quite like the roar and electricity as horses turn for home in the Belmont Stakes with a Triple Crown on the line.
A drive from Veracruz, Mexico, to Belmont Park would take almost two full days and cover 1,992 miles. Throw in a detour to tiny Hastings Park in Vancouver and stops at race courses in California, and you get an idea of what Mario Gutierrez has gone through since 2006.
Capturing the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes brought plenty spoils of victory for Doug O'Neill, the trainer of I'll Have Another. He got to throw out first pitches, attend the Stanley Cup Final and enjoy the spotlight.
Watching from the stands at Churchill Downs and then Pimlico Race Course, Doug O'Neill experienced the thrill of victory twice.
Chasing Bodemeister around the track at Pimlico Race Course, jockey Mario Gutierrez and I'll Have Another also were chasing a chance at history. This is what he and trainer Doug O'Neill were prepared for.
Doug O'Neill spent all evening celebrating I'll Have Another's victory in the Kentucky Derby, finally returning to his hotel room about 2 a.m. Sunday.