I Won't Have Another

Imagine if Beethoven had retired after his Fourth Symphony. There would be no Fifth; no Ninth.

Imagine if Hemingway had stopped writing after “The Sun Also Rises.” There would be no “Farewell to Arms;” no “For Whom the Bell Tolls;” no “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Who knows what great accomplishments would have awaited I’ll Have Another, who now flees to Japan, never to be seen again.

On Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner bid farewell to racing and America, his place in history no more than an unfinished symphony, much like Smarty Jones and Majestic Prince and Afleet Alex and Charismatic, and to a lesser extent Big Brown and Point Given – just some of the dual classic winners throughout the years who left an unfulfilled legacy behind with their premature retirements.

There is no right or wrong. The only truth we are aware of is that a brilliant, classy, handsome, courageous horse with the blood of champions coursing through every vein will race no more and will be leaving his place of birth because no one deemed him worthy to pass on his blood in America. 

We have no idea what transpired during the two weeks between the Belmont Stakes and announcement that I’ll Have Another was sold to the Japanese. We have no idea how many American breeding farms were approached and made meager offers during those two weeks. We have no idea what the thought process was regarding the decision to retire him just hours after his injury was detected. All anyone knew was that, by the connections’ own admission, they could have run him even with the injury, which was diagnosed as tendonitis. Even though it would not have been a wise move to run the horse, that was not what people wanted to hear.

Those that flocked to Belmont on June 9, not only had to endure the heartbreaking news of the colt’s withdrawal from the third leg of the Triple Crown, they had to watch him walking perfectly sound around the paddock for some 20 minutes before marching into the winner’s circle; a place where most had expected to see him under far different circumstances. Of course, walking sound has no bearing on his injury, but to many in atttendance it was all about perception. 

I have known Paul Reddam for a number of years and consider him a friend more than an owner, and know him only as a classy guy who has a penchant for finding top-class horses, winning top-class races, and doing only what is in the best interest of his horses. He is loyal to his trainer, Doug O’Neill, and obviously loyal to his jockey, as evidenced by his keeping the unknown Mario Gutierrez on I’ll Have Another following his 43-1 upset victory in the Robert Lewis Stakes.

All I know is that this was a gut-wrenching and emotional loss for Reddam, and it doesn’t do any good to ponder the extent of the injury or the events that led to the decisions regarding the quick retirement and sale of the horse.

The circumstances surrounding Saturday’s farewell left one with feelings of sadness and frustration, especially seeing this magnificent colt strut around the Hollywood paddock, his mane braided and wearing his familiar Sure-Win bridle as if geared for battle. With Gutierrez aboard and the crowd cheering, I’ll Have Another walked onto the track, his chestnut coat shining like burnished copper. He then was led into the winner’s circle, where he was coiled and on the muscle. The last people saw of him, he was prancing up the stretch on his toes, heading back to his barn. He looked more like a horse about to embark on new racing journeys and new conquests following an historic Triple Crown sweep. This was not the look of a retired horse about to embark on a journey to nowhere, which is where he was heading, as far as American racing fans are concerned.

There should be no animosity toward the Japanese, who are only doing what American breeders did more than half a century ago when industry titans Bull Hancock, John Galbreath, and C.V. Whitney snatched Princequillo, Nasrullah, Ribot, Mahmoud and Sea-Bird away from the Europeans to form the nucleus of today’s American Thoroughbred.

As for Saturday’s sendoff, we’ve been here before, having had to endure a similar scene in 2004 when Smarty Jones bid farewell to his fans at Philadelphia Park on an overcast, muggy afternoon. Children of all ages held up signs saying their goodbyes to the horse who had brought nearly 10,000 people to Philly Park on two occasions during the Triple Crown just to watch him gallop. As tough as it was to see him go, Smarty at least had his shot at immortality and failed, despite turning in one his most gallant performances. I’ll Have Another never got that chance.

For now, the memories of his stretch battles in the Santa Anita Derby and Preakness and his closing bursts in the Kentucky Derby and Robert Lewis will have to suffice. He left us with these indelible moments, and in racing nowadays one has to be thankful for any image of greatness that flashes before us, as fleeting as it may be.

I’ll Have Another and Smarty Jones have something else in common. Both were rejected by American breeders. Smarty was given a chance, albeit a brief one, but breeding in America is about instant gratification and marketability, and soon the top-quality mares stopped coming. Smarty had been a major tourist attraction at Three Chimneys Farm and drew large crowds on a daily basis. But when he failed to make an immediate impact the romance was over, even though he had his share of stakes horses. His owner, Pat Chapman, frustrated and disillusioned, brought Smarty back home to Pennsylvania, shuttling him to Uruguay last fall for six months. I’ll Have Another, unfortunately, was never even given the chance to fail as a stallion.

So, the last we will ever see of I’ll Have Another is the image of him walking off the track, leaving behind a morass of what might have beens. That’s what made this all the more difficult. I will repeat the words I wrote when Smarty Jones made his departure: In the end, the final glimpse of (I’ll Have Another) heading back to his barn for the last time brought with it feelings of deep gratitude and admiration, but also feelings of sadness and emptiness. After all, heroes are supposed to ride off into the sunset, not walk.

Later that afternoon, Quiet Oasis, owned by Paul Reddam and ridden by Mario Gutierrez, won the grade II Royal Heroine Mile. Life goes on.

Thanks for the Memories (Photos by Steve Haskin)

The Journey Begins
The Journey Begins

First walk around the shed
First walk around the shed

I'll Have Another and O'Neill
I'll Have Another and O'Neill

Roses for everyone
Roses for everyone

One happy groom
One happy groom

Morning after the Preakness
Morning after the Preakness

Basking in sun morning after Preakness
Basking in sun morning after Preakness

Saying goodbye to Belmont fans
Saying goodbye to Belmont fans

Jerry Crawford, Paul Reddam, Ahmed Zayat dominated the Triple Crown
Jerry Crawford, Paul Reddam, Ahmed Zayat dominated the Triple Crown

130 Comments

Leave a Comment:

LINDA MARIE

SADNESS AND EMPTINESS...THE FEELING THAT WE HAVE BEEN ROBBED...WE WERE.  

07 Jul 2012 9:39 PM
Steel Dragon

Another routinely great piece, Mr. Haskin. I would appreciate if you or any of your readers would clarify for me what was at stake financially for the owners had the horse ran in the Belmont taking into account all possible outcomes.

07 Jul 2012 9:40 PM
Doodge

Thanks for the article.  And the heartbreaks just keep on comin'.  Sigh.

07 Jul 2012 9:45 PM
Tairaterces

Steve . . . this article made me cry . . . . POX on the American Breeders . . . I hope I'll Have Another becomes the next Sunday Silence!!!

07 Jul 2012 10:10 PM
Dr Max

Mr. Haskins, This article is one of your masterpieces. It captures deep sentiments that all true "Run-For-The-Roses" horseplayers feel over the losses and heartbreaks of, one, not having had the excitement of watching IHA run in the Belmont and possibly win the Belmont, two, not having the opportunity to watch him campaign in future races, and, three, losing him to Japanese horse-breeding farms. Your article goes beyond sincere sentiments and contains both historical perspective and sophisticated thoughts pertaining to these developments for both the industry and the horseplayer. Once again, your writings enrich and deepen our understanding and enjoyment of this pleasurable sport and pastime. I, as I am sure many other horseplayers, are grateful to what you  contribute to our passion! Thank you!

07 Jul 2012 10:12 PM
sceptre

Well, now that the good-feeling look back at Darby Dan is behind us, I guess it's on to present day realities. Most likely many now will find me again disagreeable, and be less than smitten with my comments and opinions.-

Steve's piece tactfully raised two main issues. 1. Should they have run I'll Have Another in the Belmont? 2. Should he have been kept in America for stud duty?-

The answer to the first question is rather clear to me. The horse was apparently diagnosed with tendonitis. No horse should compete with this condition, particularly one who was engaged for a strenuous, top-level stakes. The fact that some owners/trainers may allow their horses to compete in this condition should not be seen as justification for others to follow suit. I'm sure if you asked any vet that was privy to IHA's diagnosis, they'd all agree that running in The Belmont wasn't a reasonable option-that the horse required treatment and many months to heal (and total recovery isn't a given). The fact that he was/is presumably sound at the walk and trot is irrelevant (and highlights our less than thorough pre-race exams), as this condition would very likely impede on his ability to perform optimally, and racing could very well agrivate/worsen the lesions...Needless to say, I'm not privy to the specific facts surounding IHA's sale to Japan, but my sense is that this, again, was a no-brainer. The horse's present commercial appeal is somewhat limited. While he displayed much talent, and won two legs of the Triple Crown, his pedigree at the moment would be considered only marginal (relatively), and the same could be said for him as a physical specimen. I doubt that US breeders would have flocked to him for a stud fee in excess of $20,000 (or, perhaps, even less). Neither his owners, nor for that matter almost any owner, can properly "support" their stallion on their own, and are, to one degree or another, at the mercy of breeders' perceptions, tastes, etc. The Japanese have a history of coveting our Derby winners (despite having failed with all but one). The economics of their racing industry can allow them (when inclined) to greatly outbid US breeders for I'll Have Another-types. I'm sure that Mr. Reddam would have had to risk multi-millions to decline their offer.                

07 Jul 2012 10:20 PM
Susan from VA

I find it interesting that Bodemeister was "good enough" for American breeders - a horse that I'll Have Another beat twice.  I guess it is true that American breeders are more interested in speed than stamina.  Not that I'll Have Another was a slow horse - he was fast enough to beat Bodemeister.

07 Jul 2012 10:40 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Almost overnight this year's Triple Crown went from a cheeseburger, chocolate malt, fries, and a banana split to a plate full of brussel sprouts, liver & onions, and deep fried eggplant, the worst foods of my childhood. I'll Have Another has been sent to his room in Japan and there will be no dessert !!!!

07 Jul 2012 10:42 PM
JayS

Sadly, the sportsmanship we witnessed back in the 20th century ending with Cigar, Silver Charm and Real Quiet has gone the way of the dollar.  If I'll Have Another had been run in the Belmont and won, his sale to the Japanese would have been met with resounding negativity (who would have the gaul to send a TC winner out of the country?).  Had he lost, his value might have gone down.  Nope, money talks, and the fans are the losers.  Where are the sporting owners of the past?

07 Jul 2012 10:44 PM
Rubra Sagitta

How sad.

07 Jul 2012 11:11 PM
smarty jones 99

I bought my ticket to the 2012 Belmont Stakes in April this year. I decided to skip the Derby & Preakness because I had a feeling that this would be the year the 34 year Triple Crown drought would end. After watching the Preakness, I was VERY excited that my gamble paid off... I was going to NYC to witness history!

Little did I know, Paul R. was busy making a deal with the Japanese in the days/weeks following I'll Have Another's Preakness win. There would be no triple crown, there wouldn't even be an attempt.

Although, taking a shot at winning the Triple could have made him more money... the risk of injury or a lost was too much to risk. He wanted his money now & that is all that mattered.

After seeing Union Rags cross the finish line in 2:30 & change... I knew I'll Have Another could have EASILY crushed this field. I'm guessing he would have crossed the line in a 2:26-2:28. Paul R. robbed us racing fans of chance to witness history!!!

That is the truth people!!!!

07 Jul 2012 11:23 PM
runFarFastFreeSafely

I just hope that someone in Japan will love him as much as we do!

07 Jul 2012 11:58 PM
Steve Haskin

Smarty Jones, you speak as if you know something that the rest of us don't. You should back up those comments with facts if you are going to make accusations. Here is your platform, we would all appreciate it if you would use it.

I feel like I am fairly close to Reddam, yet I didnt know the horse was sold to Japan until I read it on DRF. So I have no inside sources and only know what everyone else has been told. I can summize that a lot had to have transpired in two weeks regarding the number of offers by American breeders and the negotiations with the Japanese. But again, I am unaware of anything that happened after the injury. Therefore I am in no position to criticize the conspiracy theorists, whether I believe them or not. As I said, if you have inside information that no one else seems to have, feel free to share it. Otherwise your comments are empty with no validity.

08 Jul 2012 12:07 AM
Steve Haskin

Thank you very much for the kind words, Dr. Max. I appreciate it. And thanks to everyone for expressing your feelings.

08 Jul 2012 12:11 AM
Lammtarra's Arc

Mr.Haskin,

I commented on your blog a few weeks back when the announcement of I'll Have Another's sale to Big Red Farms.  I was angry at all the posts(99% negative) towards Mr.Reddam and his decision.  I clearly stated that Japan ARE more interested in breeding world class stayers, and American breeders were stuck in this Breed for speed mentality.  Then I got the back lash from it from a couple of people, and I simply laughed it off because they obviously have no clue what a real stayer is, and who the miler/9furlong(10f pretenders) horses are at stud.  How many unsound horses, or milers are gonna continue to be bred to before people wake up and understand that they are destroying their bloodlines. Quality Road, Indian Charlie(rip), Eskendreya, Warrior's Reward, Uncle Mo, tapit,  Quiet American, Distorted Humor, Tizway, Candy Ride etc etc.  You have SOME High Quality Stayers at Stud like Curlin, Bernardini, Giants Causeway, Langfhur, Awesome Again. but the rosters at all the big farms should be loaded with top shelf stayers for DIRT.  Look at all the Turf Stallions in the USA, Smart Strike, English Channel, Gio Ponti, Lonhro..etc.   I read an article after the Met mile, and the columnist stated that Shackleford's Met mile win will boost his stud fee even higher....???...from a mile win?.  He is a great hard knocking horse, but even after his preakness win he couldn't get 10f and would never get 10f.  Uncle Mo was no different, and neither was Tizway(who could have been Morning line Favorite for the Classic, if he remained sound).  But he did not excel at 10f..not even close.  The stallions we should be hearing more about in regards to Breeding for 10f on dirt would be Awesome Again, Curlin, Empire Maker...(oops he is gone to Japan), Silver Charm...(oops again ..gone to Japan), Roses in May..(oops gone to Japan), Smarty jones....hmmm....where are all the great 10f horses????. Don't tell me Big Brown, or Medaglia D'oro....etc.  Cheers to you Steve.  All you Reddam Haters can just keep on hating.

08 Jul 2012 12:20 AM
Teezee

OK. I've been trying to make sense of this whole story and just can't. If the horse is injured and requires time off why not give him the time and see if he comes back in the same condition as before?

After all, horse racing needs more heroes (the equine kind). This horse burst onto the scene by winning the Derby and becoming a household name. Then more people got on the bandwagon for the Preakness. He won that race, and then even more join for the Belmont. Then all of a sudden with the momentum for a Triple Crown Winner growing, this injury occurs, and the proverbial rug is pulled out from under the whole thing.

Why couldn't he be given time off and then a come back tried? Why was the decision made so quickly to retire him? Why weren't more American Farms interested in standing him as a stallion? Lots of questions.

Horse racing needs more heroes. The whole story of I'll Have  Another and his jockey are the stuff movies are made from. Why couldn't this story have a happy ending in the United States where it all began?

I wish I were wealthy because I would have purchased the horse for the express purpose to stand him here in the states. Plus the fact I would like to see him every day, as well as give race fans across the country a chance to see him in person as well. I'd invite people to the farm where he is rehabbing and having R&R. I'd give him the necessary time off and then have him reevaluated by a vet. If he still was not 100% , then and only then would I retire him.

Also, if I did not need the money, I would never part with such an animal. We need this kind of horse in the sport and I don't think one could put a price on that. We need to have horses develop a following. We need to take care of them like a family member and give fans the opportunity to see them in retirement.

08 Jul 2012 12:24 AM
jetboy24

Weekend In Kentucky

www.youtube.com/watch

08 Jul 2012 12:47 AM
Rachel O

Teezee--

I couldn't possibly agree with you more about the decisions made about I'll Have Another or the peculiar story around his retirement and sale. Horse racing needs fans, and we need horse heroes (or heroines!) I'll Have Another was one such horse, and he was ripped away from us with explanations that just didn't wash. It isn't any wonder that people don't want to go to the racetracks. We don't want to be so disappointed--and--frankly, disrespected because of the almighty dollar that seems to rule everything!

Remember Seabiscuit? He spent many months recuperating from a tendon injury, then came back to win the Santa Anita Derby at age seven. He was a national hero, and his owner respected the people.

If Reddam didn't have money enough to keep him, he should never have had him in the first place. There is just plain no excuse for what happened, or the swiftness with which it was carried out. Reddam showed, clearly, that he just doesn't care--about the horse and/or about the fans.

There, you have my opinion.

08 Jul 2012 1:14 AM
Zen's Auntie

It's a heartbreake but real horsemen know if a horse is diagnosed with tendonitis it cannot compete  at top levels its absurd. To do so could cause the horse to falter and breakdown completely.  NO show jumper would have to jump at top levels with tendonitis nor would a reiner be asked to compete, yet it's an option in a mile and a half grade one race?!?  Unconscionable.

Sctatching and disapointing millions of fans is better than our hero gutting it out and perhaps giving his LIFE for our pleasure.  Oh wait, who cares no one thought him worthy to stand here any way right??

We should not run hurting, injured horses at any level let alone Grade one races with the WORLD watching.  

Kudos for the toughest decision Reddaam and Oneil will ever have to make. Thank Goodness for the unpopular move to keep thier horse - Reddams PROPERTY safe and sound. He can than export that property in excellent condition to wherever he likes while it was at TOP value.  Who is anyone to call that wrong? You want the horse?  Match the offer or pipedown - all the negativety is ridiculous.

08 Jul 2012 1:55 AM
Ted from LA

Almost overnight this year's Triple Crown went from a cheeseburger, chocolate malt, fries, and a banana split to a plate full of brussel sprouts, liver & onions, and deep fried eggplant, the worst foods of my childhood. I'll Have Another has been sent to his room in Japan and there will be no dessert !!!!

Dr Drunkinbum 07 Jul 2012 10:42 PM

This is a masterpiece.  Long live the king.

08 Jul 2012 1:58 AM
Mister Frisky

Hi Steve,Was at Hollywood Park Saturday for the IHA farewell,and of course play the card.Thought the crowd enjoyed seeing him one more time.I have a lot of respect for J Paul Reddam and in no way am I criticizing him.I have always wondered and wanted your take.Why more multi millionaire owners don't just stand their most accomplished horses themselves.Ken Ramseys Kittens Joy comes to mind.The Ramsey's single handidly have turned him into a top sire out of love and loyalty.Just thought it would be nice to see more of this.Then again if the offer is good I can see pulling the trigger on selling the horse.

08 Jul 2012 2:03 AM
tallulah13

As disappointed as I am that we didn't see another Triple Crown Winner (and I do believe he could have done it), I have nothing for respect for people who put the health of the horse first.

I'll Have Another is a beautiful horse with a level of grittiness that brings to mind Afleet Alex. I hope he is a great success as a stud, whether here or in Japan. I'm sorry we won't get to see him run again, but better he retire now than do himself any permanent damage.

08 Jul 2012 2:33 AM
tallulah13

As disappointed as I am that we didn't see another Triple Crown Winner (and I do believe he could have done it), I have nothing for respect for people who put the health of the horse first.

I'll Have Another is a beautiful horse with a level of grittiness that brings to mind Afleet Alex. I hope he is a great success as a stud, whether here or in Japan. I'm sorry we won't get to see him run again, but better he retire now than do himself any permanent damage.

08 Jul 2012 2:34 AM
Shutterbug

For whatever it's worth, I learned over local radio in L.A. on Sunday June 17(nine days after the announcement of his retirement) that IHA was "most likely going to Japan" because their offer was so significant.  

On another note, I look forward to the matchup of two of my favorites in the BC Classic (racing Gods willing):  Game on Dude vs Mucho Macho Man!  And, oh how I wish 7-year-old Briecat had won today's grade 2 Royal Herione Mile.  She has come so close to winning a big race this year, and she so deserves it.

08 Jul 2012 3:31 AM
Kate Hunter

After living and working here in Japan for 4 years, I love how they give horses, multiple G1 winning horses, a chance to recover and race again after an injury.

This isn't the last people will see or hear of I'll Have Another. I report yearly on Silver Charm and I'll Have Another will join the ranks with many of the other US stallions and mares I get to visit here in Japan. Hopefully by the time little IHAs are running there will be an easier way for fans to follow racing in Japan.

08 Jul 2012 3:55 AM
Pedigree Ann

I don't see how one can put Distorted Humor, Quiet American, and Candy Ride in the stamina deficient category.

Distorted Humor has sired several 10f G1 winners in an age when such races are rare - Funny Cide, Flower Alley, and Drosselmeyer, plus other group/graded distance winners Hello Pretty, It's No Joke, Boisterous...,

Quiet American, who did after all finish 2nd in the 10f REAL Strub S, sired Derby winner Real Quiet, Delaware H winner Irving's Baby, a Derby winner in Mexico, and a 2-mile SW in Saudi Arabia.

Candy Ride made Medaglia d'Oro look ordinary when he galloped past that one in the Pacific Classic. And he sired a Big 'Cap winner in his very first crop, Misremembered. He had speed, but he had been taught how to use it properly to stay; if certain trainers can't do the same with his offspring, that's on them, not the sire.

Sunday Silence beat Easy Goer 3 of 4 times they met at 3. But the breeders wanted Easy Goer champion 2yo, not an "off-bred" Horse of the Year. They wanted Lure, the miler and not HotY Kotashaan, a stayer who went to Japan. They flocked to the last speedy Danzig Hard Spun in preference to his conqueror at Churchill. That's the way the industry has gone in the last 30 years - to hell in a handbasket.

08 Jul 2012 8:57 AM
Janis from Winnipeg

I agree that he shouldn't have run and that the likelihood of him ever competing at that level was pretty slim so the retirement, while heartbreaking, was understandable.

It's also understandable that he's going to Japan but I don't have to like it.  I think he could be an outstanding stallion.  I could be wrong, but when you put together both sides of his breeding, I actually think he has something pretty special to offer and I'm sorry the breeders in North America couldn't se it.

08 Jul 2012 9:10 AM
70's Iron Horse Secretariat

I hope the owner was smart enough to put a no kill and return clause in the sale contract. If I'll Have Another doesn't meet their expectations in the breeding shed. Everybody knows that Asians eat anything with four legs, except a table.

08 Jul 2012 9:11 AM
Fran

Steve, you just write so beautifully; all of the sentiments of the public in a masterpiece of work.  Thank you so much for always having the right words.  Thank you, again!

08 Jul 2012 9:25 AM
Agnes

Steve Haskin has my utmost respect and admiration as a writer but it troubles me that because Reddam is a friend, he gets a pass on criticism.  To send I'll Have Another to Japan is a money-hungry decision by someone who has more than enough.  Racing fans have been betrayed.

08 Jul 2012 9:48 AM
an ole railbird

  we have all learned from the "ill have another " episode. what have i learned??? i have learned that you cant please "bleeding hearts". from the same side of the room, from which we hear"be kind to the animals". "dont race a tb horse but ever 6 weeks ". no lasix or bute," " no therpipudic drugs on race day, and last but far from least no slaughter market.

  all of that comes from the same mouthes that are now railing because "ill have another" was scratched out of the belmont.

  lets take a moment to visualize the head lines of the "new york times", had "doug oneal", not scratched but had ran & broken the horse down.

  HEAD LINES doug oneal ,a california horse trainer will be castrated, before being crucified in "times square" this afternoon.  

some people are awful childish with their criticism these days.  

  have a nice day  "an ole railbird".

08 Jul 2012 10:20 AM
Linda in Texas

Steve, my blinkers are off. I am as sick at my heart as most are.

I'll Have Another has so much natural charisma, something in his bloodlines made him to be so. He looked as proud in his appearance yesterday at Hollywood Park as i have ever seen a horse look, lately. Lava Man excelled at his job.

To me IHA has been treated just like a bastard step child. Go ahead anyone, fire the bullets back at me. I can take it as i am not finished.

It is the highest level of control of a sport clamoring for fans and continuance of its very existence,

for I'll Have Another to be shipped off out of sight out of mind. I cannot even begin to explain that to myself.

No, i did not want him to race with a suspected case of Tendonitis. But something just tells me maybe he had it all along.

How did he so soon develop it a couple days before The Belmont?

Detection of heat in the area a couple days before the Belmont was all that was mentioned. They watched it the day he went out for a run. And bam,the next day he is retired.

I don't know anything, as i am not privy but i imagine the offer to buy him was in the works right after the Preakness.

After all it takes time for a consortium to come up with $30 million bucks which is the oft times mentioned offer.  It is not done in a 20 minute phone call across the ocean.

Just too many things not answered.

How long did I'll Have Another have tendonitis issues and when did they know it??

Just like Senator Howard Baker asked in his questioning during the Water Gate Break In investigation. What did they know and when did they know it?

Reddam had 2 decisions with the 3. 45 day penalty already hanging over O'Neills head. 1.If Reddam had raced IHA and he had broken down and been euthanized on the track,i.e. Eight Belles, what nasty taste would that leave?

2. With an offer of multi millions in the hopper and 'probably' taken into consideration before The Belmont, there would be no deal, no $$$$$, if he broke down either. 3. Douglas O'Neill already under scrutiny and frankly, his timed assault by writers and jealous jerks made me highly suspect and really angry and had IHA broken down, O'Neill would have been vilified further. O'Neill's reputation would have been further tainted and never forgotten.

So, pulling I'll Have Another and scratching him because of a conformation issue was the safe way for everyone of the connections to win and keep their reputation in tact. Character???

Only one thing was not taken into consideration, the multitude of fans who had been drawn in by the handsome copper colored majestic little prince of the racetrack that came from nowhere to take the racing world by surprise, I'll Have Another.  Another day another dollar.

Sorry, but i am sick at my heart

and nothing will soothe the ache.

Nothing. And seeing little I'll Have Another's racing in foreign countries won't help either.

Steve, i read your article shortly after you posted it and i simply could not compose myself enough to respond. I waited and frankly it did not help to read other folks'

opinions as mine is the same today as it was the day i heard of the sale. Utter almost shame.

It was a business deal and to hell with any emotional ties and to hell with the racing fans. He deserved better. He earned the respect from The Horsemen of The Industry that 'they' have so egregiously  denied him. And he does not even know that 'he' must have done something wrong. Yet his sire is not blamed for the conformation issue that sidelined him and it is business as usual in The Breeding Shed with Flower Alley. Just really makes me wonder.

Like i said when I'll Have Another was announced "retired." I don't know whether to cry or hide. Still feel the same way.

The only positive things about yesterday were: I'll Have Another  is one super handsome racehorse.

And good for Game on Dude, Mucho Macho Man and Musical Romance.

Ambition and tenacity rule and those traits are inborn. Not learned, taught or bought.

Regardless of the outcome, I'll Have Another performed magnificently and i admire and respect him tremendously. Be safe big fella. And special thanks for the memories, for sure.  

08 Jul 2012 10:41 AM
quiet american

This whole thing is a big gaff...it is apparant this deal to Japan was already in the works long before the Belmont.There was never any plans to run IHA in the final race of the crown. Its a crying shame and a waste to American breeding to let such an athlete go overseas. Bringing up another point, being a longtime horse person myself, no horse suddenly develops tendonitis overnight.. The whole story was a fairy tale until it turned into this cock n bull mess they expect us to believe. This was the horse with the stamina and fight to end our crown drought...thanks team oneill.

08 Jul 2012 10:49 AM
Slew

Sayonara, I'll Have Another.  Domo arigato.

I think I've already said everything I meant to in the Ascot column.  I can wish him only a lifetime of many champions.  After a brilliant season, I wish the astute Japanese buyers great success.

I realize that most animals respond to the tone of a voice rather than the words themselves.  But some animals do recognize some words, probably by their constant use.  I keep wondering how horses respond to such a totally different language, especially when the tones themselves are radically different.  Does anyone have a clue on this matter?

08 Jul 2012 10:52 AM
Rachel O

I'll say it again. Money just isn't everything. Horse racing seems to be about nothing but money--what is the best bet, etc. It's lost the sentimental value it used to have. I realy believe this is the reason racing has lost the fans it could have. Nobody really cares about a commodity. If you see nothing but $ instead of a living, breathing, beautiful animal, why not just go to the gambling casinos instead?

I'll never forget how the fans reacted to Zenyatta when she appeared in the paddock. They nearly swooned. She was a rock star. When she "lost" to Blame, she got the biggest ovation. That's the kind of excitement people crave. If it's just $, go someplace else than to the track. Z never paid much for a $2 bet anyway.

08 Jul 2012 11:07 AM
Karen in Texas

Thanks, Steve. I agree that there are no villains in the story, no right or wrong, just disappointment for many American fans. And those who continue to insist on a pre-Belmont sale conspiracy really do need to cite their sources/facts. I wish I'll Have Another much success in his new career, even if it is not in the U.S.

Kate Hunter----Thanks so much for your post! It is wonderful (and encouraging) to hear that you visit our U.S. stallions and mares at the Japanese farms where they reside. Please do report to us as I'll Have Another joins their ranks!

08 Jul 2012 11:17 AM
Deltalady

Thank you, Steve, for this epilogue to this story. I'll Have Another reached in and grabbed my heart, and I was surprised and unprepared at the enormous disappointment and sense of personal loss I felt over his not getting to finish what he had started. We all missed what many feel was as sure a thing as you can get. I do not blame Mr. Reddam, I blame the American breeding industry and some short-sighted owners who have no patience with true Classic horses.  I’m beginning to think that the only ones that really want a Triple Crown winner are the fans.  I sat glued to my online horse racing services watching every minute of the Royal Ascot this year, where at least half of the marquee races were endurance races of 1 1/2 miles or longer!!!! There is a huge disconnect between the industry in the U.S. and overseas! Not only from the drug issue, but from so many other aspects as well.  I’m hoping that out of the chaos that has surrounded the U.S. sport this year, some new sense of direction and order may emerge.  As to Little Red, Three Chimneys has offered to be a conduit for information and updates on his new career in Japan.  Also, the farm where he’s going has an English version of their web page, and we will get to see some videos of his arrival and updates on him from time to time.  In Japan, I’ll Have Another will have a chance at a legacy and will get the best mares, whereas in the U.S. he was headed for nowhere.  I’m sorry I won’t get to visit him in Kentucky as I would have liked, but, for the sake of hopefully someday watching one of his offspring contend for the Japanese Triple Crown, I am happy for I’ll Have Another, and I wish him every success.

08 Jul 2012 11:43 AM
PatsyK

To all of you who are heartbroken about IHA leaving, here's a thought....why don't you "adopt" a retired race horse that is here in the USA....many of the rescue agencies such as Thoroughbed Retirement Foundation welcome sponsors..your rewards will be great! You could go see YOUR horse and know you're doing a wonderful thing for the industry!

08 Jul 2012 11:50 AM
an ole railbird

  zens auntie, you told it right lady. that all needed saying.

  on the subject of " the decline of the breed". after years of thought& observation, i cant buy to your story. its not the breed thats in decline. its the people in general that has declined,mostly in the fan base. lack of fans without hands on experince, with horses. plus the information age has made the industry so much more transparent , there is lots of false information, & half truths. this has all lead to people voice their opinions of things, and then later after finding the real facts, they have seen the error of their ways.  but in most cases the damage has been done & is not reverseable. the lack of horses that run 11/4& further is not (IMO) in the breeding, but more in the training.  

 in the trenches of bread & butter racing, ther is no reward for racing the route of ground races. there are not enough of them (route races) in most places to keep a horse busy. it requires shipping. there is a point in the strutre of purses that you cant ship a horse & make money. so why have a route horse that you cant run but every 8 weeks at purses that are of less$$$.   the most moneyraces & the most oft written races, are from 6 to 9 furlongs. these are also the races that the public gambles the most $$$ on.

  raise the incentives& watch the route horses start to show up.  

 oh! while we are on the subject. anyone who looks at bodemeisters pedigree & sees nothing but speed. well that person sure doesnt glasses, because they can see more than they can understand already.     have a nice day.  "an ole railbird".

08 Jul 2012 12:01 PM
Autumn's Mom

I fell for IHA when he won the Robert Lewis. He quickly joined my list of all time favorites; Zenyatta, Affirmed, John Henry, Forego, Point Given, Holy Bull (enjoy your retirement), Cigar, and Silver Charm. In some ways he reminded me of Affirmed with his tenacity in battle. I was so excited when he won the Derby it brought tears to my eyes. For me there was no doubt that he would win the Triple Crown. After the Preakness I could hardly wait for the Belmont to see IHA become a part of history. When I started hearing the rumors that he might not run in the Belmont I was so dejected. And when the rumors were confirmed I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. But I totally agree that with an injury no matter how slight it was best to have him stay in the barn. I could not have stood it if he had run and came back with an even more severe injury or worse. And it would have been tough to take if he had been beaten due to not being able to perform at his best. As for his being sent to Japan I was totally crushed as I had looked forward to being able to visit him wherever he had ended up standing at stud. But I don't blame Mr. Reddam, I blame the breeders in the US who only want speed and a return at the auctions. So we keep breeding for the market and fast winners at two. And then we wonder why we haven't seen a triple Crown winner in all these years. As someone pointed out earlier Shackleford's value as a stud went up when he won the Met Mile. So much emphasis is put on milers for stud duty then we can't figure out why we can't get horses with the stamina to compete at 10 furlongs or longer. So then we shorten the distances of many of the major  races to compensate for the lack of stamina. And I mean no disrespect to Shackleford as he is as tenacious as they come and that carried him to his Preakness victory but I don't see him as a source of the stamina needed for the classic distances of the Derby, Belmont, BC Classic etc. At least in Japan IHA will be respected for that ability and hopefully he will pass that on. So for now I will have to use the internet to keep up with his progress as a sire and my hope is that 1) there is a clause that when he is pensioned or otherwise done as a stud he comes back to the US so I can see him in person and 2)that he sires some kick butt sons and daughters that end up in the US beating our horses in the TC and BC races. That would be poetic justice for the breeders who overlooked this tough, classy and charismatic horse. Good luck and enjoy your new life IHA.  

08 Jul 2012 12:05 PM
joanne halsey

Having picked I'll Have Another (Flower Boy) as my Derby horse before the Santa Anita Derby ran, and being a BIG fan of Flower Alley from his racing days, it was great to see Flower Boy getting his kudos at Betfair Hollywood Park, as a Derby/Preakness winner should.  The excitement of those two races, the heart-pounding "Affirmed/Alydar" type stretch finishes, gave me such joy that can't be diminished.

Having said that, the fact that I'll Have Another suffered an injury at 2 yo that laid him up for months and then having one recur as a 3 yo gives one pause.  Being a new breeder in California I can understand any breeding farms hesitation at undertaking the cost and heartache of standing Flower Boy should he pass this on to his offspring.  Japan is willing to take a chance - so good luck to them and Godspeed to I'll Have Another...oh, and thanks to Flower Alley, Arch's Gal Edith, Flower Boy, J. Paul Reddam, Doug O'Neill and staff and Mario Gutierrez for the memories!  xoxo

08 Jul 2012 12:09 PM
WildThing

There is so much right and wrong about the decisions regarding IHA. Absolutely he should not run with any kind of leg issue, even if heat in the area and swelling is the only issue. In the upcoming Olympics, if an athlete and trainer choose to compete if the athlete has a slight problem, the athlete can still slow down or stop if injury worsens. A race horse is taught to race and does not and cannot make health decisions while running. Not to mention there is someone on his back hitting him with a stick. IHA was one of the lucky ones because of high profile and value. Here is a link about the dark side of our less valued athletes. www.nytimes.com/.../death-and-disarray-at-americas-racetracks.html

I think the other issue is the Japanese factor. Case in point, Alysheba vs. Ferdinand. Alysheba, after US breeding success was bought by King Abdullah. On retirement, King Abdullah returned, as a gift "Americas Horse",  to the Kentucky Horse Park. Ferdinand was not a breeding success in US or Japan and was most likely slaughtered.

The Ferdinand clause (first option buy back) was mentioned a lot in past years, recently, not so much. No where have I seen that this clause was added to his sale. Now my concern is if IHA is not a success, will there be a twist to: Wow, that tasted great. I'll Have Another.

08 Jul 2012 12:16 PM
an ole railbird

thought of that myself, slew. HOWDO YOU HOLLER WHOOO IN JAPANESE?

 seriously, think animals & honey bees percieve vibes in the sounds that we transmit. they definetly are aware of positive & negitive attitudes in their handlers.

 have a nice day.   "an ole railbird".

08 Jul 2012 12:17 PM
Mike Relva

70's IRON HORSE SECRETARIAT

Take exception with your comment regarding "asians" especially since my girlfriend is of asian orgin.

08 Jul 2012 12:22 PM
genie918

It was certainly heartbreaking when the announcement of I'll Have Another's retirement came within days of the Belmont Stakes, but the disappointment certainly did not end there.  I was truly surprised and saddened when I learned that I'll Have Another was sold to a Japanese farm as there was little American interest.  Now, I do not work in the industry, so no doubt I would be told "What the *#@!#* do you know?!", but I find it curious that we turned our backs on I'll Have Another, yet Bodemeister was snapped up by WinStar before he has been retired!  Now Bodemeister's sire is Empire Maker, who apparently, we did not think much of since he was shipped off to Japan last year!  UH?

08 Jul 2012 12:25 PM
Ted from LA

slew,

Worry not.  IHA speaks Spanish, English and Japanese.

08 Jul 2012 12:42 PM
berttheclock

Excuse me, Mr Haskins, as I know you have written about your friendship with Mr Reddam.  However, after perusing the many complaints from borrowers of Cash Call, the words "Class" and "Cash Call" are light years apart.  Predatory lender of the worst sort.

08 Jul 2012 12:49 PM
melanchthon

I just don't get it.  After the horse wins millions what is the rush to get rid of him?  So what if he doesn't stand for a lot of money.  Doesn't anyone love the horse for himself and not for how much money he can make?  How can Mr. Reddam just ship him off to Japan of all places.  Those people let Sunday Silence suffer terribly before finally euthanizing him and of course there is Ferdinand.  Doesn't Mr. Reddam care about IHA?  Does he really need more money?

How ####ing depressing.

08 Jul 2012 12:56 PM
duchess

Ole Railbird has a great point in that there are very few races carded for classic distances.

If you choose any random race card at any random track in the US you will see mostly sprints (though there seems to be more grass route races than on dirt).

So if you breed a horse for stamina on the dirt and that horse is not quite up to graded stakes status and simply does not perform well on turf what do you do with him or her?

There are few or no allowance races and very few listed stakes - heck, not even special maiden weights or claiming races  - for your horse to run in.

So do you run your stamina laden grinder of a  horse against sprinters in sprints? Good luck with that!

There are so few routes, why would most trainers know how to prepare a horse to run in one given that they are required to do so so seldom?

Given that very few horses are of graded stakes quality and the very few longer races we have tend to be of this type, why bother breeding for them unless you are trying to hit one for the fences?

Goes even further - why do we have Eclipse awards for sprinters but not for marathoners?

Why do we have so many sprints and miles in the BC races as opposed to longer routes, and why is the Marathon clearly the red headed stepchild of the BC? Why isn't the Distaff run at 10 furlongs and the Classic at 12?

Why are tracks allowed to gut the distances of classic and/or important races without penalty? In the last few years the Mother Goose has been cut from 9 furlongs to 8 1/2, the CCA Oaks from 12 to 9, and the Personal Ensign from 10 to 9. Why were these races allowed to keep their graded status?

I could go on and on, but why? Horse racing is a sport doing its best to self destruct, and is doing a mighty fine job of it.

08 Jul 2012 1:06 PM
Linda in Texas

Slew, good question on the ability of horses to understand a foreign language.

Hmmmmmmmmm??? Let me see.

No wait, this is an answer for

Ted From Boston or Alex'sBigFan or

Dr. Drunkinbum, to answer, next to Steve they are the best writers.

And Dr. Drunkinbum, i grew up on all those foods you held a dislike for. Brussels Sprouts, the smaller ones, are great lighty sauteed and doused with lemon butter and sprinkled with crispy bread crumbs and a little salt. For Liver and Onions you need to marinate the cleaned calves liver in milk first, then cook several pieces of bacon, set those aside, combine half flour and half bread crumbs, salt and pepper and saute the liver in the left over bacon grease, turn it once,place a large sliced 1015 onion over and around the liver and on the top til the onions are cooked. Remove liver from pan and sprinkle with bacon pieces and of course the onion.

Now let me see, next, egg plant is my favorite, you remove strips of the purple skin or covering and then heat oil in a large skillet.(i like olive oil, good for your ticker).

Slice the egg plant in about 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Combine flour, salt and pepper and sprinkle Tony Checheres' Seasoning in and then dip the eggplant slices in beaten eggs then into the flour mixture. Have the oil fairly well heated so the flour stays on and place the slices in the black iron skillet and brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel.  (some things and corn bread for sure,  require a black iron skillet, that is all i was taught to cook with by Mattie our housekeeper when i was 14 after my mom died.  I have iron skillets in all sizes from a 4 inch up to an 16 inch and even have some ancient 5 quart dutch ovens from the late 1900's i make stew and roasts in.)

So Dr. Drunkinbum. You eat your vegetables and Liver and Onions.

We had Liver and Onions once a month, if we ate them we got to go

to the Dairy Queen and get a nickle ice cream cone. Sorry this is off topic. But it is Dr. D's. fault. Sorry an ol railbird i sure don't want to get off topic. But being old myself, i couldn't resist the urge to share my knowledge with some young whippersnappers! :)

Thank you Steve. Your article was just fine. Friends or no friends, people or no people, animals or no animals, when it comes to something regarding animals, i will side with the animals. I can speak, they can't.

What is next on tap for Lava Man?

How is he going to take all this sudden demotion to no publicity?

And loss of his stablemate?

Have a nice Sunday. I'll Have another starts his quarantine today. Is that like solitary confinement? Just what he doesn't need right now. I think he will get plenty of that later.

Holy Bull pensioned from stallion duty on the day his son Mucho Macho Man won his race. Holy Bull is gray you know. Good for you Holy Bull, you are still a handsome champion.

08 Jul 2012 1:13 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Ted from LA

   I'll Have Another can translate any language into Greek.

Linda in Texas

  I don't think I would have missed out on as many desserts if you were cooking.

08 Jul 2012 1:59 PM
DawnStorm

If we ever do get another TC winner, y'all had better hope that it will be a gelding.  Any colt who wins the TC will be immediately retired, either because 'he has nothing left to prove' or because of high insurance premiums. Same Stuff Different Horse.

08 Jul 2012 2:31 PM
DREAMCATCHER THOROUGHBREDS

Dear Steve,  Thank you so much for addressing this issue - we have already shipped jobs overseas, let's keep our finest bloodstock HERE or in Western Europe/Australia.  Many American breeders and trainers need to remember what the Thoroughbred was bred for originally - Speed AND

Stamina.  I have found it shocking that some American trainers complain about the mile and a half Belmont distance - this is an insult to these noble creatures. Another example of the American mentality driven by money and instant gratification.  After what happened to Ferdinand in Japan, if I'll Have Another had to leave our shores I wish he had gone to the UK.  Thanks as always for your astute and wonderful commentaries!

08 Jul 2012 3:16 PM
Ranagulzion

Karen in Texas,

You're a generous soul as well as Steve in presuming innocence and not wanting to impugne anyone's character but why is there such an unfortunate cloud of suspicion and "smell of a rat" over the I'll Have Another saga?  Who should carry that burden, if not the connections?

Think about it for a moment: although immortality and glory beckoned for IHA in the Belmont, they stood to lose a lot more if the colt, facing two freshened Grade one challengers (Union Rags and Dullahan) and tight barn restrictions on pre-race treatment, was to get beaten after two hard races in the Derby and Preakness (assuming that the Japanese offer was on table at the time). To my suspicious mind (this time I wish I could be as generous or naive as you) gamblers/investors think about the odds of the most profitable outcome, and the business considerations usually win out over the sporting or emotional aspects.

I suspect that the Japanese offer was in the mix by Belmont Stakes time.  Tell me why or point to some evidence to the contrary ...good chance I'll believe you because your sources and fact finding capabilities are well established on here.

Steve,

Can you chime in here to allay the suspicion of a well-meaning race fan?    

08 Jul 2012 3:43 PM
Lmaris

All due respect, Mr. Haskens but you are a reporter and had Mr. Reddam disclosed to you his plans to sell IHA to Japan, it would have turned off the fans before the Belmont.

Smarty Jones was given the same chance as other 3yo who peak early. He got some very nice mares and produced very little.  

The fact American breeders weren't willing to through Japan-level money at another modestly bred dual classic winner says they're more cautious than the insular Japanese.  Since they don't have to face outside competition they can be more free with their money.

I'm not fooled by Mr. Reddam's crocodile tears.  He chose to sell out than breed to his own stable star.  That is not an owner who has faith in his own horse, just one who did what you decried:  went for immediate gratification.

No, Mr. Reddam is your typical owner:  patronizes a repeat medication violator, bails out on his top runner, and thumbs his nose at the country who gave his horse the opportunity to shine.

08 Jul 2012 3:52 PM
Mike Relva

AGNES

I don't think Steve is giving him a "pass".

08 Jul 2012 4:05 PM
Terlingua

Someone may have noted this already and I have not read all of today's comments.  Would really like to know which of our great fillies and mares have been sold to Japan in the last few years.  Many have mentioned that IHA will get far superior mares in Japan than he would have in the states.  Anyone on here have some names to start?

08 Jul 2012 4:05 PM
Paula Higgins

Ted from LA and Dr Drunkinbum et. al, good to see you back. Great article Steve and heartfelt.  I believe, like many others here, that the American breeders did not show them the kind of interest and money that the Japanese did. I believe this arrangement was agreed to before the Belmont. I also agree with others that money isn't everything, particularly when you have enough to buy the horse in the first place. This is not what I would have done in a similar place. But people are in this sport for a variety of reasons and making money may be one of them. It's also a business to them and they make their decisions from that perspective. I don't think Paul Reddam is a bad person and the same for Doug O'Neill. But this again, is not what I would have done. As for running in the Belmont, the vet said he had tendonitis. That's it. I wouldn't have raced him either. I am sure they wanted to send a healthy horse to Japan and that did factor into the decision. One thing that I would have done is obtained a second opinion from another vet. It would have added validity to the final decision and less second guessing. But it was the right decision. However, I would not have retired him. I would have treated and rested him, and then raced him again if possible. Whether he would have raced back to his previous form is unknowable. Bottom line, I would have kept him in the U.S. I think when you buy a horse you have a responsibility to make the best decisions for them, whether it is a business or not. I would have certain parameters that put the best interests of the horse as my #1 priority and then I would make my business decision from that point. If I didn't make top dollar, so be it. ITA that people should make donations to retirement homes for horses if they are able to do so. I donate to OLD FRIENDS regularly. I also  donated an item for OLD FRIEND'S Ferdinand Auction at the Derby. Anyone can do this too.

08 Jul 2012 4:11 PM
Steve Haskin

My next blog is going to be a guest blog by Paul Reddam addressing everyone's concerns and what transpired regarding I'll Have Another's retirement and sale to the Japanese. I think most people, including the conspiracy theorists, will find it enlightening.

08 Jul 2012 4:51 PM
an ole railbird

i had faith in you , ole boy. i knew that you would come up with a way to satisfy all of these " inquireing minds, & conspiracy theorys. keep up the good work. just dont slow down.  " an ole railbird".

08 Jul 2012 5:17 PM
Warlaine

Dear Steve I saw too, a horse that seemed more ready to enter the starting gate than the breeder's shed. Wish things could have turned out differently. Looking forward to your followup story. Thanks for summing it up pretty much what I was feeling.

08 Jul 2012 5:22 PM
Linda in Texas

Ted from LA, not Boston. Sorry about that.

Linda

08 Jul 2012 5:28 PM
JerseyBoy

It is rather astonishing that in America, people would find something wrong about a seller selling his interest to the highest bidder. It would be a form of silliness if he did not sell to the highest bidder.

Let us say that buyer A offers $8m for a horse. Buyer A is the second highest bidder.

Buyer J offers $9m.

If the seller sells to A, A can then resell to J and make $1M dollars for doing nothing. This can only be prevented by a clause restricting resale. This is how capitalism works.

08 Jul 2012 6:12 PM
Linda in Texas

It is Ted from LA, not Boston, sorry about that Ted. I love Boston, walked the Freedom Trail and ate at Jimmy's Harbor Side eons ago. Soft shell crab was the faire as i watched a tankful of the biggest lobsters i had ever seen.

Steve, i am glad you are doing a guest blog with Mr. Reddam. I hate to lose I'll Have Another and Mr. Reddam is the ultimate decision maker. Maybe it will help ease the

disappointment.

Watching the racing at Lone Star, and knowing i am about 180 miles from there and it is hitting 100 where i am. Please know it is just as hot there and for those babies  to be running in the blazing sun i hope it is appreciated that they even attempt to outrun each other.

And a Stonestreet gray named Verne just won race 7, Steve Asmussen trained. Nice. I will probably be seeing many of them vanning thru my little berg later tonight.

I will quit hogging the space. Makes me feel like i am not alone to share my idiocy sometimes!

Dr. D., i learned to cook from a sweetheart of a lady. I thought she was my "Auntie" til my daddy told me she wasn't. She called me Miss Linda.  And her fried chicken beat all. That and her tater salad always disappear first

at covered supper dinners. And Peach Buckle! (made in an 8 inch black iron skillet.) With home made vanilla ice cream. Bless her soul Lord, she was special. And her Parker House rolls are to die for.

One thing i forgot, i always add  about 1/2 a tsp. of garlic powder and a dash or 2 of cayenne to the flour mixture when i make the liver and onions.

Have a good week Steve and everyone. And Saratoga is not but a few days away! I will be transfixed automatically back 60 years.

08 Jul 2012 6:13 PM
sceptre

Re- the upcoming Reddam guest blog:

It's a bit of a shame that Mr. Reddam feels the need to explain his actions (if indeed he feels that way). As far as I'm concerned, no explanations are required. It isn't as if he did something to harm his horse then, perhaps, he might have to answer for it. The owners owe little or nothing to the fans, rather it should be the other way around. There does exist, perhaps, a pseudo-symbiotic relationship between the owners and bettors, as without both of them the sport wouldn't exist. But, the average non-wagering or small wagering fan gets essentially a free ride-TV/media audiences bring in relatively little, and most tracks now have free admission. So, what does Mr. Reddam owe to the majority of you? He isn't running for office and in need of your vote. It's unfair that he may feel the need to protect his reputation from those who have no reasonable grounds or RIGHT to question it. He has no obligation whatsoever to you, whereas you have been entertained essentially on his dollar. It's a shame that one must bow at times to the uninformed masses. If I were Mr. Reddam and read some of these posts, I'd simply turn away in disgust. Steve, he must be a good friend to agree to your offer and rise above it all. Perhaps it's the philosopher in him-but this too was my major and I wouldn't give some of these posters the time of day.      

08 Jul 2012 6:31 PM
Runfast159

Could IHA really not have  stood on a small farm for a modest fee or his immediate departure to Japan really about chasing dollars?  I refuse to believe that there are not breeders out there who would have used him. What I do believe is that he was sold out. Kudos to the Japanese who value stallions for stamina over speed, for grit and determination.  It's why they have one of my favorite racehorses, Silver Charm.

08 Jul 2012 6:40 PM
Karen in Indiana

Thank you, Steve, and please thank Mr. Reddam ahead of time for caring enough to open up about what happened. He doesn't owe any of us an explanation - I'll Have Another was his horse. But there is a sense that a horse who has won the Kentucky Derby has become America's horse and we do care. Even Mine That Bird still gets visitors just because of that one race.

08 Jul 2012 6:58 PM
tjconway

I thought "Eskendreya".....if he stayed healthy last year, would have won the triple crown. His baby's should be awesome to watch. " I'll Have Another" leaves us with a sour taste in our mouths...but it would have been much worse if he ran in the Belmont and had to be pulled up. Over the last 30 years, I can only think of a few great crops of three-year-olds. The 1987 crop was absolutely "ridiculous".(Lost Code, Bet Twice, Alysheba)......these guys were the real studs! The 1987 Haskell was "chilling"!!!!!!!

08 Jul 2012 7:08 PM
Karen in Texas

Steve---You read my mind! I have been thinking that it's just ridiculous for all this "stuff" to be gone over ad infinitum by those of us who have no direct knowledge of it. I truly wondered what the chances were of having Mr. Reddam address some questions himself, and I see you've already arranged it. Thanks so much!

Ranagulzion----I'm not naive, but I just cannot see a conspiracy based on the chain of events as they appeared to unfold. The tendonitis should be accepted as fact regardless of which day of that week the distortion/filling was first noticed. It's an obvious diagnosis with an ultra-sound or thermal scanning device--even if you wanted a second opinion (as Paula mentioned) all that would be needed is one more vet to glance at the pictoral image. At the initial press conference, Mr. Reddam stated very clearly that he would not be keeping the horse because he wasn't into breeding. Hence, the horse would be sold. You used the word "offer" above; could there have been offers at that time? Quite possibly, yes, since we hear of offers being made for these good colts all the time, whether they are ready for retirement or not. Is an offer the same as a "deal" having been pre-arranged? No. This may be where some of us are divergent in our thinking. I don't claim to know all the facts, but my point would be that no one else does either--knowing and speculating are two different things. I'm hoping Mr. Reddam can help us all understand better in his guest blog, but he is not required to reveal his private affairs in a public forum to appease disgruntled fans. Let's try to keep an open mind.

Terlingua----One mare to go to Japan recently is Azeri. Maybe I can find a database with more.

08 Jul 2012 7:13 PM
Ranagulzion

Sceptre,

Do you understand anything about public relations?

As a major in philisophy you should appreciate the saying: "it is nice to be important but it is more important to be nice" (I learned it from an Accounting professor).

08 Jul 2012 7:21 PM
Karen in Texas

Terlingua----Ginger Punch is another mare to go to Japan recently.

an ole railbird----I believe you have said you are a trainer. Could I ask in which state you train? Thanks.

08 Jul 2012 7:34 PM
Slew

I think it's sad that we as Americans are the ones who are insular, and not the Japanese as claimed by some.

Don't forget, in the terrible year of the Tsunami, Japan took 1st and 2nd place in the World Cup.  They are competitive on an international level.  How did we do this year?  

And to who ever said "asians" eat anything on 4 legs...exactly what do you eat...hamburgers, lamb, veal, liver, pork, etc..and chicken.  And horse meat is very popular in Europe, S. America, Mexico, and Canada and China.  Exceller was sent to Sweden.  Only Western, English speaking people shy from the thought, while the Mid-East has religious taboos.  Perhaps people in India feel you are a barbarian for eating beef?  Stop laying this chestnut at the feet of the Japanese only, especially when Mexico is second only to China in exporting horse meat for human consumption.

And people keep trying to vilify and hang Mr. Reddam with suspicion and innuendo.  No facts...just unfounded rumors.  Give it up!  It's unfair and unjust.  I certainly didn't hear accusations or whining when Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame Champion Azeri was shipped to Japan last year.  No one called the Paulson estate devious,conniving and underhanded. Empire Maker, owned by Judmonte was sold to Japan in 2010.

Doug O'Neil worked very hard trying to find a California breeder to take I'll Have Another, but no one was willing to part with their $$'s.  It was discussed on HRTV yesterday.

I believe this is happening quickly because they need IHA to get settled into that beautiful farm before he stands at stud for the 2013 breeding season.

And just because IHA has tendonitis does not mean he has conformation flaws.  It's a strain of the tendon, but takes time to heal. People get tendonitis all the time,( Tennis-elbow, knees, shoulders, wrists) usually from a repetitive motion.  It needs time to heal.

I think it's time to put the conspiracy theories to rest.  Time to let go of the vilification.  Time to appreciate what IHA will do for international breeding.  It's time to realize that we import great stallions from other countries..and consider how Europe felt when they lost Nasrullah and Princequillo.

08 Jul 2012 7:38 PM
Jenna M.

Your article just made me cry. I feel so bad about this beautiful animal leaving this country. I know very little about the racing industry but I do know the Mr. Reddam paid very little for this horse. He got an offer he couldn't refuse? The horse cost him $35K. Many people care about these horses. This exact situation is one of the main reasons people are turned off by racing. Owners could care less about these animals who who make them a great deal of money.

Who is going to watch out for this horse? What if breeding doesn't work out for him? Could the horse be any further away?

This entire story makes me sick. I personally don't care what Mr. Reddam has to say or answer. This is so sad. That poor horse.

08 Jul 2012 8:05 PM
Linda in Texas

It is Ted from LA, not Boston, sorry about that Ted. I love Boston, walked the Freedom Trail and ate at Jimmy's Harbor Side eons ago. Soft shell crab was the faire as i watched a tankful of the biggest lobsters i had ever seen.

Steve, i am glad you are doing a guest blog with Mr. Reddam. I hate to lose I'll Have Another and Mr. Reddam is the ultimate decision maker. Maybe it will help ease the

disappointment.

Watching the racing at Lone Star, and knowing i am about 180 miles from there and it is hitting 100 where i am. Please know it is just as hot there and for those babies  to be running in the blazing sun i hope it is appreciated that they even attempt to outrun each other.

And a Stonestreet gray named Verne just won race 7, Steve Asmussen trained. Nice. I will probably be seeing many of them vanning thru my little berg later tonight.

I will quit hogging the space. Makes me feel like i am not alone to share my idiocy sometimes!

Dr. D., i learned to cook from a sweetheart of a lady. I thought she was my "Auntie" til my daddy told me she wasn't. She called me Miss Linda.  And her fried chicken beat all. That and her tater salad always disappear first

at covered supper dinners. And Peach Buckle! (made in an 8 inch black iron skillet.) With home made vanilla ice cream. Bless her soul Lord, she was special. And her Parker House rolls are to die for.

One thing i forgot, i always add  about 1/2 a tsp. of garlic powder and a dash or 2 of cayenne to the flour mixture when i make the liver and onions.

Have a good week Steve and everyone. And Saratoga is not but a few days away! I will be transfixed automatically back 60 years.

08 Jul 2012 8:22 PM
TXLonghorn

Thank you for giving Mr. Reddam a forum to give his side of the story. Frankly, a lot of the stuff being said and written doesn't deserve a response, and many of these folks - and others inclined to believe the worst - will cry conspiracy regardless of what Mr. Reddam says, but I am glad he will have the opportunity.

The horse could have run...no doubt. It was inadvisable. The vet suggested a long rest period and could not guarantee a return to form. They could have rolled the dice and run.  Over 12 furlongs I doubt seriously he would have run to his ability battling tendinitis. (Anyone out there ever had a tennis elbow or shin splints and tried to soldier on in your amateur rec league?)  He might have run 4th, but by God nobody would have felt cheated! That would have made everyone happy!  Bitter as it is to swallow, given the time needed to FULLY recover then resume training (according to reports from vets like Dr. Bramlage), I think they probably did the right thing. (Like Steve says, if anyone else has contrary inside info, lay it out there and cite your sources!) I'm also struck by all the professing "horse lovers" who claim to be cheated because a horse with a diagnosed injury - not life threatening, but an injury - should have run anyway...becasuse they wanted to see him run! Isn't that pretty damn selfish?

I don't make a lot of money, but I too was in NY for the Belmont. I made some sacrifices, reallocated some money - a lot of money - and left Texas hoping to see a Triple Crown winner. I don't feel cheated or deceived. I was sad...very dissapointed...walked around NYC in a fog for a few hours...but that's racing.  I was there for War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones and Big Brown, too. I felt pretty lousy when they ran and lost, too.

I sure as heck don't feel cheated by I'll Have Another being sent to Japan, either. That is the breeders' loss, not mine. IHA and I don't hang out...we don't run in the same circles...we're not buds..and I didn't have plans to watch him breed.  I think its poor judgement by American breeders to not pursue him given he has a great pedigree and won 2 of the races every American in the game wants to win....but this is a capitalistic society.  The farms have the right to spend their money where they think it's best utilized. Maybe they made very, very fair offers for the horse and just got blown away by the competition.  IHA was essentially a free agent. Most of us who are sports fans are familiar with that process.  Mr. Reddam has the right to pursue the best deal available....even if he is extremely wealthy independent of his racing interests. (Given what he purportedly spends on his stable, I doubt he's making much, if any money there.  He should also get credit for sponsorship money he pours into the sport.)

Horses are livestock...they are commodities. When they retire, they don't hang out around the pool playing with their owner's grandkids. If they are good enough, they go to stud...and normally to the highest bidder. There is nothing evil about that! Think about how the English and Irish felt when horses like Nasrullah, Mahmoud, Blenheim, Nijinsky and Sickle were exported to America. Does anyone here regret that? Should we apologize?

Finally, if anyone's health - mental or physical - or quality of life truly is affected by this development, it's time to find another hobby. Racing is like golf...you fail more often than not...but its the "or nots" that keep you coming back.

08 Jul 2012 8:30 PM
Cdnkowboy

I have never considered myself a conspiracy theorist but after the GONG SHOW that has become the Belmont stakes in recent years, I think it would be naive to swallow what horse racing has been feeding us.  Big Brown, Smarty Jones, I'll have Another;  there stories just don't add up. Weapons of mass destruction anyone?

08 Jul 2012 8:33 PM
JoyJackson21

I'll Have Another.  He's my baby.  Oh, how I love this horse!  I love him as if he was my own horse.  I couldn't love IHA more, and I couldn't be any prouder of him, either if I tried.  What a spectacular champion he is!!  

Thank you, Mr. Haskin, for an absolutely incredible and wonderful article (and the beautiful photographs with IHA, Doug O'Neill and Team I'll Have Another) on the Bon Voyage and tribute to I'll Have Another.  You hit the nail right on the head in the entire article, and expressed it beautifully.  I can't tell you how much it has touched my heart that I'll Have Another touched your heart as well.  He is a very special horse.  Thank you so much!

I'll Have Another looked so handsome Saturday afternoon at his Bon Voyage ceremony at Hollywood Park.  That beautiful copper coat of IHA's that he inherited from Flower Alley was literally GLOWING in the sunlight.  It was a stunningly beautiful sight to behold.  Watching I'll Have Another strut down the track to the Winner's Circle at Hollywood Park, on his toes the entire time, primed and ready as if he were going into battle to warrior against top opponents in a top-tier G1 stakes race almost took my breath away.  

Mario Gutierrez, in his familiar Team Reddam silks, was astride I'll Have Another, beaming from ear to ear.  Mario looked so incredibly happy to be riding I'll Have Another once again.  He genuinely loves I'll Have Another, and the bond this horse and rider have together is palable.  

The crowd was cheering loudly, waving signs that had I'll Have Another's portrait on it, captioned by the word "Hero" under IHA's likeness.  IHA's fans were all smiling and waving at him, and many were taking pictures with their cell phones to carry with them forever a picture of the horse that captured America's imagination and stole their hearts.  It was a happy and surreal moment in time.

As I'll Have Another went up the field, my first thought was, "Where is Lava Man?", because IHA was being guided by one of Doug O'Neill's Assistant Trainers and not IHA's "big brother" and best pal.  The Assistant Trainer tried to keep a firm grip on IHA, who clearly was in racing mode.  It was easy to see that I'll Have Another was ready to go into battle in his own mind.  He was ready!  IHA was brimming with energy, on his toes, standing tall and proud, strutting down the track.  He was in championship mode.  This brought tears to my eyes, because oh, how I wish we could let him race, but he would injure himself competing in that 5th gear he possesses, and the last thing I would ever want is to see I'll Have Another injured.

IHA entered the Winner's Circle, and stood proudly for the cameras.  He's a natural in front of cameras, and he looked stunning standing there on his toes, looking regal and handsome, as if he had just defeated his rivals on the field, as he has become used to doing.  

The crowd cheered enthusiastically. IHA loved every second of it and responded to the love he felt coming from the fans.  It was his last moment of triumph in North America, and he reveled in the experience.  It was a wonderful tribute and ceremony, and I am thrilled that IHA's last triumphant moment in the sun was one in which I'll Have Another heard cheers, saw smiles and happiness, and heard enthusiastic applause - all for him.  What a great memory for him to take with him to Japan!  IHA worked hard for that adulation, and IHA certainly deserved the accolades he was receiving.  It was an incredibly heartwarming moment.

But all too soon, the ceremony was over, and the last we saw of I'll Have Another was him strutting triumphantly back down the track, gazing appreciatively at the crowd and the track, his stunning copper coat still GLOWING in the sun.  Wow, what a great moment that was.  And an incredibly sad moment, too.  I got emotional at that point, tears filling my eyes.  I was so proud of him!  And so incredibly sad that IHA was going all the way to Japan, that it might be another 20 years or so before he is back in this country to live out rest of his life, comfortably and happily, I hope.  I'm sure Mr. Reddam insisted on inserting a buy-back clause for I'll Have Another in his contract with Big Red Farm, so I'll Have Another will eventually be back home where he truly belongs.  But twenty years or more is a long time to say "so long" to someone you love.

I am still furious at the short-sightedness and greed displayed by the American breeders in regard to I'll Have Another.  This fabulous, stunningly talented champion horse, I'll Have Another, has so many mind-bogglingly excellent traits - which includes intelligence, professionalism, a calm & happy-go-lucky personality, speed and stamina - to pass on to countless generations of hugely successful champion horses. IHA also possesses a plethora of other stunning traits which, unfortunately, cannot be passed on genetically - such as tenacity, determination, heart, ambition, and the stunning will-to-win.  IHA is the real deal - he's just loaded with incredible attributes.  And the American breeders chose to disregard all of that because they are short-sighted and greedy.  They were looking for something for nothing, snarking that they had Flower Alley, why did they need I'll Have Another?  We can breed with Flower Alley at the low, low bargain price of $7,500 a pop, and get our own future Triple Crown winner out of it.  Why should we breed with Flower Alley's highly-superior champion son at a much higher price?  We want to keep that money in our pockets.  Greed, pure and simple.  The Japanese breeders, on the other hand, knew a golden opportunity when they saw one and  pounced in the vacuum the American breeders created, recognizing an excellent breeding acquisition when they saw one, and offered many tens of millions of dollars for the privilege to have I'll Have Another breed with the champion mares they have recently been purchasing in America.  The owner of Big Red Farm made a very bright breeding and business decision, thinking in the long-term, which American breeders should have done.  Mr. Okada knew that I'll Have Another has the potential of bringing in an at least $500,000,000 profit for his family and his farm.  That's half a BILLION dollars or more.  A stunning amount of money, no matter how you think of it.  And Americans just let all of that slip through their fingers!  A really silly oversight on their part.  And to make matters even worse, Three Chimneys Farm suddenly raised the price of breeding with Flower Alley from the low, low bargain price of $7,500 a pop to what is now listed on the Three Chimneys website as "Upon Request", meaning the American breeding community will have to pay much, much more to breed with the sire of the highly superior horse, I'll Have Another, who is Flower Alley.  No longer a bargain, now breeding at a premium price.  Short-sightedness turned around and bit this group right in the butt!

So, I'll Have Another walks off into the sunset, ready to embark on another journey in his life, that of sire to many generations of stunningly talented and successful champion horses, just like their father, I'll Have Another.  (Hopefully, they will inherit that gorgeous, incandescent copper coat IHA possesses as well!! - LOL).  IHA's foals will all be stunningly beautiful!  

I wish I'll Have Another would have had the chance to win the Belmont Stakes.  Because the way the race worked out, all things being equal, IHA would have definitely have won that race.  And he would have won the Triple Crown.  And a myriad of other Grade 1 Championship races that he would have smoked the competition in the future.  So, I'll Have Another's legacy is unfulfilled in the racing arena.  It is my hope and my prayer, however, that IHA will be legendarily successful in the breeding arena.  I know he will be because I'll Have Another succeeds, overachieves and dominates in every area he has ever entered.  The breeding area will be no different.  IHA will be a champion here as well.  

So, I look forward to following all of his progeny, and watching them take down hundreds of lucrative, important major stakes races all around the world.  It's going to be thrilling to watch them, just as it has been to watch their father race.

Great good fortune to you, I'll Have Another!  Thank you for all of the thrilling, incredible racing you provided all of us.  Thank you for showing us your class, your intelligence, your speed, your tenacity, your heart, your ambition, and your incredible will-to-win.  Thank you for everything!  Love you much, and love you always!  So long, my fabulous friend! I hope to visit you one day soon after you have had a chance to settle and get comfortable for awhile in your new home in Japan.  Be happy and have a fabulous, successful life and career!

Signed,

One Of Your Biggest Fans  

08 Jul 2012 8:58 PM
an ole railbird

well said, sceptre. i salute you. salute!!!!

  "an ole railbird"

08 Jul 2012 9:06 PM
JoyJackson21

To Teezee,

I couldn't agree with you more in your post very early on this page.  My sentiments exactly.  How I do wish I was wealthy enough to have purchased I'll Have Another, I would have done the exact same thing you expressed wanting to do yourself.  

Great post!

08 Jul 2012 9:11 PM
Karen in Texas

Terlingua----Another mare sold to Japan very recently is Cozi Rosie. Clearly, I haven't found a database and am relying on my memory, so this is probably my last attempt tonight.

08 Jul 2012 10:13 PM
BlueHen

I feel so sad that I'll Have Another is leaving America.  I'm sure Mr. Reddam thought it was the right thing to retire him, if he was going to have to run on a bad tendon.  But I don't understand an American farm not wanting to take the chance of standing him at stud. Just his looks alone are worth taking the risk. :)  I hope the Japanese breeders will appreciate what a beautiful, magnificent horse they've acquired.  Who knows what might have been, both on the track and off.

08 Jul 2012 10:17 PM
Bigtex

Thanks, Steve.  The emotions run high from a deep passion and love for a horse such as I'LL HAVE ANOTHER.

It's heartbreaking but I look forward to your interview with REDDAM so we can comment on the facts and not stew over what's been speculated.

Always love the pictures!  He's a great looking horse!

Is there any scuttlebutt on the little fella out of Zarkava, by Sea the Stars???

08 Jul 2012 10:36 PM
Bigtex

I watched AMADEUS, by the way, this weekend and I'm feeling a bit like his arch rival, Antonio Salieri, with a deep seeded desire for everything, I'LL HAVE ANOTHER, to go my way!

No matter how bad I want the storybook ending for the horse, IT JUST AIN'T HAPPENING!!!

08 Jul 2012 10:41 PM
JoyJackson21

Mr. Haskin,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read the insights of Paul Reddam in your next blog.  I very much look forward it.  I have lot of questions I hope are addressed in the article, the most important of which is did Mr. Reddam insist on, and sign, a buy-back clause in his contract with Big Red Farm to purchase I'll Have Another that guarantees I'll Have Another will be able to return home to the United States when his breeding services have concluded to live out the rest of his days in the States, happily and in comfort.  That is the main thing I wish to know.  

I trust you, Steve, to ask all of the most pertinent, important questions to Mr. Reddam, and express to him the majority of the concerns of fans like me of I'll Have Another's have in regard to IHA's safety and welfare, and ask Mr. Reddam to address those issues in a way that will enhance our faith that he took into account all aspects of what was the most excellent and most humane decision for IHA's emotional and physical well-being and future - that I'll Have Another's well-being and happiness was the most important, utmost feature in the decision to sell him to Mr. Okada and Big Red Farm.  We are also seeking reassurance that a promise was obtained that I'll Have Another will be treated with the greatest respect, that he will be treated like a king during his entire stay in Japan.  

It is my hope, more than almost anything else, that I'll Have Another will be greatly loved by the staff that surrounds and takes care of him on a daily basis, and, just as importantly, that IHA will  be loved and revered by Mr. Okada and his entire family.  I'll Have Another is a very lovable horse, it's hard not to be drawn by his charisma and charm.  IHA has been surrounded by love in the O'Neill barn, he even has the constant companionship of his best friend and mentor, Lava Man.  I hope IHA has equal good fortune to have all of that and more in his new home in Japan as well.  I hope I'll Have Another is surrounded with people who deeply love him, are devoted to IHA, and are deeply concerned for his excellent welfare at all times.

Thank you again, Steve.  You are a very fine journalist and I appreciate the excellence you put into your job and your columns.  God bless.

08 Jul 2012 10:43 PM
smarie

I too was very surprised and saddened when I learned that I'll Have Another would not be running in the Belmont Stakes. But when I found out that he had issues with tendonitis, I was glad that he remained safely in his stall that day. The safety of the horses and the jocks should be the primary concern at any racetrack. Imagine if IHA had run and broken down how Doug O'Neill and J. Paul Reddam would have been vilified for running him. No, they did the right thing. I do wish that Mr. Reddam would have kept IHA in this country. I love this horse and it is troubling to know that I won't see him again. I know that he got a much better offer from the Japanese than from our short-sighted American breeders, but it hurts to see this horse go. Racing's stars are around so briefly anymore. It seems like most are only on the track for a year or two. American breeders have tunnel vision as they only want to breed for speed it seems. Eventually, we won't have horses that can get the Classic distances. Then what? I believe that if I was a Thoroughbred owner and a wealthy one at that, if I was blessed enough to own a Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, I would keep my horse, no matter what. These don't come around to owners that often, and some owners never get a horse like this. I would visit him every chance I got and enjoy the gift I had been fortunate enough to receive. But, that is just me. I do not think of animals as property. They are my friends, my extended family. We are all different. I wish IHA a successful, happy life in Japan.

08 Jul 2012 10:48 PM
Greg Garcia

Yes poor horse...Medical care plenty to eat, sex with hot athletic alpha mares and great living conditions.  That is better than most people live.  The whiners who want you to 'feel sorry'  really want you to feel sorry for themselves not the horse.  The last time I checked 'owner' meant you can do what you want with your horse.  If they had run him and he had been injured you all would have complained most loudly.   And lastly, no he will not end up on a dinner plate.  So much ignorance but on the plus side that is our competition IF they actually bet once in a while.

08 Jul 2012 10:56 PM
Paula Higgins

Sceptre, Mr. Reddam does not "owe" anyone a reason or response about the decisions he made. If he choses to respond that's his choice also. As for the owners not needing the fans, betting or not, that's wrong on every level. In fact, that's part of the problem with the sport's profile right now. The savvy owners i.e. Jerry and Ann Moss understand the importance of the fan base, betting or not. I don't bet, but I do support retired horses. I MAY bet in the future. I am not saying Paul Reddam is their opposite. He seems like a very nice man in all the interviews I have seen. One of the things that puts off the general public is their perception that horses are not well cared for during and after their racing careers (thank you New York Times). I do not agree with that. The vast majority take great care of their horses before and after, including Paul Reddam. It doesn't change the fact that many of us wish the horse were staying here. As for the comment that horses are livestock, what total rubbish. Not exactly spoken like a true horseman, TXLonghorn. You cannot seriously compare the British sending over their champions to Kentucky (GOD'S country) and us sending horses to Japan. I know some owners have a buy back clause when they send them over if the horse fails at stud. There is a reason for that.

08 Jul 2012 11:29 PM
mz

Couple of comments:

Many of us don't want to acknowledge that horse racing is also a business.  Since Reddam isn't a breeder, what were his options for I'll Have Another?  I'm expecting Mr. Reddam's blog to clear up some of the paranoid comments and set out what we all know:  most breeders follow fashion just as closely as teenage girls and right now, you're supposed to be breeding something that can go really fast at a 2YO sale and damn the consequences to the breed.

Secondly, I'm having a little trouble with the Japanese bashing ...or am I overly sensitive here?  Going to Japan is not the equivalent of heading to the kill pens.  Deep Impact is currently the leading sire in the world.  Northern Taste and Sunday Silence and Brian's Time and a lot of others have done N. Am. breeding proud but everything is becoming more and more international anyways.  Yes, there was Ferdinand but there will always be bad 'uns in every bunch.  (BTW, one of the top possible sales lots in the upcoming Japanese sales is a yearling by Zenno Rob Roy and out of Azeri.  Remember the big fuss about the offspring of two HOYs?  Well, here it is again -- though not two AMERICAN HOYs.)

Thirdly, Brussels Sprouts and Eggplants are wonderful vegetables.  (I do have to agree that liver is not worth eating but at my age, I can continue to avoid ----or coconut or beets.  Now beets, there's a yucky vegetable)

Finally, as long as there have been horses grabbing our hearts, there has been the breaking of those hearts over horses.  We love them anyways.  So I can understand some of the hotness of this debate (even when I can't always agree with what is being said).

Steve, keep the notes and thoughts coming.

p.s.  I believe every horse speaks carrot, just like every dog speaks treat.  Cats believe that it is up to humans to learn cat.

09 Jul 2012 12:17 AM
TXLonghorn

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't a profit of $500,000,000 derived from stud fees work out to a $125,000 stud fee projected on 200 covers a year (with 100% conception and live foal delivery)for 20 years?  I find that highly unlikely!  Highly unlikely!  Perhaps I misunderstood the point.  It's much, much more likely that I'll Have Another will have the stud career of Alysheba, Holy Bull or Spectacular Bid, spectacular racehorses with spotty stud records.  Even if he is a stunning success like Sunday Silence or AP Indy, I just don't get the absolute need for so many people to embrace conspiracy and become so distraught over this.

As for the gentleman who seemed to intimate that the Belmont was thrown or some sort of sideshow in 2004, 2008 and again this year... Big Brown wrenched a shoe and had a nail repeatedly pounding into his hoof all the way around the track while receiving a horrendous ride.  Smarty Jones had very real stamina limitation and wasn't helped by his ride at the Belmont or his run-off win in the Preakness.  I'll Have Another was diagnosed by a vet with tendonitis the day before the race and was withdrawn by his connections. He was subsequently retired because the rest, rehab and training time to get him back up to speed would take them through next year's breeding season and there was no guarantee he would get back to what he once was. What the heck is suspicious about any of that?

I think the connections of IHA tried to allay the concerns of casual racing fans and those out to hurt the industry by showing IHA was not "broken down" or seriously injured when they paraded him in front of the barn. So many darts are being thrown at the industry right now...and O'Neill in particular...I truly believe they wanted folks to know the horse hadn't been abused and they were exercising caution - AT THE EXPENSE OF THEIR OWN HOPES AND DREAMS! - to preserve the horse's health! Instead, it blew up on them and had the opposite effect, with people who claim to be horse lovers and racing fans accusing them of fraud and unethical behavior!  If you disregard everything else I wrote, please re-read that last paragraph and THINK!

09 Jul 2012 12:28 AM
an ole railbird

 karen in texas, in answer to your question. i currently live in s/w arkansas. where i run a race horse farm for an individul who has racing interest in new mex.,cali., & okla, & ark.  due to a riding accident in 1998, i was forced to retire. am glad to report that over a 10 year period i have almost recovered. however i have never gone back to training at the track. i also have a small (40 acre) farm of my own, where i retrain race track rejects, for barrel racing, pole bending. along with some roping horses& occasionaly sell a horse trained for police work. the old burn or "the call of the wild", to return to the track is never for from my mind. but i havent come up with that "big horse", that it takes to carry a trainer in those circles. thanks for your interest, & you have a nice day.     " an ole railbird".

09 Jul 2012 1:36 AM
TXLonghorn

Ms. Higgins, thanks for taking the time to read my comments. I enjoyed and agree with most of what you wrote, though I suspect we come from different backgrounds with different perspectives.

If horses are not livestock, what are they?  Honorary people?  Tall dogs?  

"Livestock" is not a dirty or demeaning word, but defines the animal as having residual worth as a commodity - which they most certainly are! - beyond any sentimental value they may carry.

Horses, like cattle or sheep, are not human beings and while we should care for them humanely, we must be careful not to project human emotions upon them or confuse their value with the value of one of our own. (For tax purposes, we better hope they are livestock!)

Japan is in the same position now as America during those formative years for Thoroughbred development. They seek to upgrade their stock (derived from the word "livestock") by importing American, European and Australasian mares and stallions. Frankly, results would indicate they are doing a fine job of it.  Orfevre may well compete in the Arc this fall.  I don't know of any top American-based turf horse who would give the Europeans a run for their money, at the moment.  The Japanese have also won a World Cup more recently than we have.  I wasn't overly impressed by our American horses at the Dubai Carnival; were you?  

I'm sure that EVERY horse imported to America in the 19th and 20th Centuries that didn't pan out on the track or breeding shed was found a caring and loving alternative home... The Ferdinand story is heart-wrenching, but let's not turn a blind eye and absolve ourselves of all past - or current sins - which may have been committed. I wish the horse was staying in the US, but it's not the end of the world.

Finally, I wasn't aware that God carries a passport or has a home state. I suspect He might be surprised to hear that, too.

09 Jul 2012 1:44 AM
Secretariat

...and we wonder why we don't have no more triple crown winners...

Our breeders are "NOT" interested in stamina. They are interested in speed. This is why "Bodemeister" (that could never beat "I'll Have Another") will be parked in Lexington and "I'll Have Another" will be shipped to Japan.

Every wonder why we have quarter horse trainers ruling our sport for the last 5 decades (D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert)? These breeders cater to these trainers and they are only interested in turning 10-second eighths at these auctions. They could care a less about stamina.

We ought to just get rid of the thoroughbred and run quarter horse races because that's where we are headed. What's "thorough" in the thoroughbred now?  You tell me. I'm all ears.

Our breeders are a joke and they are flat out "laughable".

09 Jul 2012 2:28 AM
ksweatman9

When you are selling something of substantial value, rule number one, don't act as though it's burning a hole in your hand and you can't wait to get rid of it. That puts a buyer beware sign up for all to read. The smart thing to do would have been to let the horse mend, race him again, if only one more time. Retire him sound, and hopefully, on a win. THEN you search out a lucrative deal. Times are hard, you can't blame breeders for "thinking twice" before dropping millions on a horse with questionable health issues, one that was pulled from the last leg of the triple crown within hours of post time, then retired, BOOM, just like that. If we are puzzled, how do buyers feel? There is enough blame to go around on this one. Clearly, the priority was not to find I'll Have Another a home here in the states. That's evident to me. This is not a good sport to get emotional over, it will break your heart. My dad always said "you can love the game and be an advocate for the ponies, but there will be times when you will have to choose between the two." So true. I'll Have Another's fate rested solely in the hands of his owner. There's no way to get around that, the buck stops there. The rest of us have to live with it, accept it, and go on, but I don't believe that IHA is better off in Japan and I don't believe every avenue was traveled to find him a home here. I'll Have Another has more patience and heart than Reddham showed him. Good things come with time. The time it took to write a check was how much time that beautiful colt was given. Sorry, I just call it as I see it.

09 Jul 2012 3:36 AM
JerseyBoy

Another item being mentioned is the timing of the sale.

Well every horse, including some of the best at stud, is for sale today if the price is right. That is the way life is.

If I owned I’ll Have Another, I would have sold him before the Preakness, to the highest bidder. I would not have assumed that buyer X would not give the horse better care than buyer Y would have given him. I would have assumed that the buyer would seek to maximize his options by the way he handles the horse. Once the horse is sold he becomes the responsibility of the new owner and I become a bystander.

What is the big deal?

09 Jul 2012 6:58 AM
TripleCrownKaren

AH YES, Steve!  Once again AMERICAN breeders fail to see what Their Japanese counterparts have.   And YES we've been here before.....FERDINAND, SUNDAY SILENCE, and now I'LL HAVE ANOTHER all going to Japan.    And yet again, we have no "long term" hero for the racing fan and the "newbies" to root for.   I fear the days of horses like KELSO, FOREGO, CIGAR, (with OWNERS who had STAYING POWER and gave the public TRULY something to GROW to care about) are gone.   Yes we have the exceptions, like the connections of the mighty mare, ZENYATTA.   The Mosses gave us all something so beautiful to watch, love and cheer on.....but they are the exception these days.

I've followed racing since I was a child of 4 when my Mom (born in KY and transplanted to NJ) to watch the Kentucky Derby.   Like you, I've seen so many GREAT ones, it embarrasses me to think that the coming generations will see no more like, DAMASCUS, DR. FAGER, BUCKPASSER, TA WEE, and so MANY others that "our generation" took for granted and thought we'd ALWAYS have.   We reached the pinnacle in the '70's with SECRETARIAT, SEATTLE SLEW and AFFIRMED.  And then we watched with dissapointment when "THE BID" missed his chance....but remained HERE for us to see and continue to love.

These horses lay their hearts, souls and bodies on the line for us EVERY time they step on a track, to me they are ALL "warriors" and we need to look after ALL of them!

Here's hoping American breeders get their act together and start breeding for IMMORTALITY instead of INSTANT MONEY.

09 Jul 2012 8:20 AM
Smoking Baby

TX Longhorn.  Well said.

09 Jul 2012 8:26 AM
Slew

Ironhorse: "Asians eat anything on 4 legs"?  What do you eat?  Hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, veal, pork, mutton, lamb, even 2-legged chicken?  If you're in a hunting family, add venison, rabbit, squirrel, grouse, pheasant.  In India, the cow is sacred, and you're considered a barbarian if you eat it.

To who ever claimed the Japanese are "insular"..perhaps it's Americans who continue to remain ignorant of other cultures, too often by choice.  In the year of the great tsunami, Japan took first and second place in the World Cup.  How did we do at Meydan last year?

It's simply ridiculous to vilify Mr. Reddam, his crew, and the Japanese.  Funny, I didn't hear a peep when HOTY and Hall of Famer Azeri travelled to Japan last year.

Based on rumor and supposition, too many seem willing to believe the worst including outlandish conspiracy theories, and are simply too eager to crucify Mr. Reddam AND the Japanese.

No one got upset when we IMPORTED top stallions like Nasrullah and Princequillo.  No one is upset that Argentenian Invasor stands at stud in America. or Brazilian Einstein, or that Aussie Lonrho came to Coolemore America for the season.

And too many seem willing to assert the myth that a stallion would be safer in America....tell that to Alydar, or Phar Lap.  Even the gelding Kona Gold didn't make it past his first day in retirement.

So Mr. Reddam made a great deal, sent IHA to one of the most beautiful farms in Japan, a country where the sport is loved more than it is in America...and you all feel betrayed?  Why?

09 Jul 2012 9:52 AM
Union Buster

I'll Have Another would have won the Belmont by 15 lengths or more had he been sound enough to run. You won't see the Belmont winner win another race this year unless they pull an RA and look for the weakest lineup to tackle and get lucky like her connections did.

Horseracing is no different than any big business. The 1 percenters who run the show will tell you one thing today to get your backing and wipe the slate clean to go where the money is tomorrow. I just hope and pray that I'll Have Another can adapt to a menu of fish, seaweed, and rice. What a dissapointment to outsource another great one to overseas money.    

09 Jul 2012 10:39 AM
sceptre

There's just so much hypocracy being spewed here. Many of you complain and advocate that the best interests/safety/well-being of the horse should be placed first, while also insisting that IHA should, after time to heal, race again. So tell me, where are IHA's interests better served, at the racetrack racing, or at a lavish stud farm, romping in his paddock and serving mares? If you do truly care about the well-being of racehorses, stop pushing for them to run more often and/or stay in training/racing, and instead insist on better oversight of their well-being, as the training and racing of horses places them at great risk. Be less a fan of horseracing, and more a fan of the horse.

09 Jul 2012 10:47 AM
ofelia

Nearco was not imported. It was his great son, Nasrullah that Hancock imported and changed the face of American racing. His son Seth, has yet to meet his father's standards.

09 Jul 2012 11:06 AM
Linda in Texas

It is clear to me from the vast differences of opinions, exactly what is wrong with Thoroughbred Horseracing in The United States.

No one seems to be on the same page.

Everyone comes at this sport from

varying life experiences or lack thereof.

Arrogance and dissing fellow fans will not solve any problem. Oh we of masses of ignorance. That is demeaning Sceptre.

And as a native born Texan, please know i do not have the same opinions as TXLonghorn. And i know he is thankful for that.

I frankly, Mr. TXLonghorn, have not come across any 'livestock' in my 72 years be they sheep or goat or donkey or cow that brought a price of $30 million.

Gig'Em Aggies!

09 Jul 2012 11:16 AM
Will

Steve, one of your bloggers, who claims to have lived and worked in Japan the last four years, remarked  on how the Japanese give multiple Grade 1 winners a chance to race and recover again after injury. Is that, in your opinion, wishful thinking in regards to IHA or is there a prospect - though obviously remote - that could actually happen and do you think that possibility was in the minds of IHA's Japanese buyers when they made their offer ? Many of your bloggers have commented that they would have liked to have seen IHA return to the track to see if he could recover the form he displayed in the Triple Crown. If the Japanese brought the horse back to the States as a 4 year old to run in multiple Grade I races leading up to the BC Classic or even raced him internationally or in Japan, I'd think that would bring to an end some of the sense of sadness, emptiness, and incompleteness you and many of your bloggers feel in the wake of the colt's sudden retirement before the Belmont. Though not an IHA fan, I'm in the number of those who think the horse deserves at least a brief return to the track as a 4 year old to see if he can recover that form that almost catapulted the colt into Triple Crown immortality. Congrats on another fine piece that so accurately captured the pulse, temper, and sentiment of the racing world in the wake of the meteoric plunge in fortunes of a horse with an excellent chance to join the ranks of Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat as a Triple Crown winner.

09 Jul 2012 11:23 AM
Karen in Texas

an ole railbird----Thanks for your reply. If you trained, I thought maybe you raced horses at Lone Star Park occasionally. Anyway, to me your blog contributions are enjoyable and contain the wit, wisdom, and knowledge of writer and folklorist J. Frank Dobie in many respects. So, please keep them coming!

09 Jul 2012 12:03 PM
Cdnkowboy

It has been 34 years without a triple crown and at most  attempts there is either a safety pin, a thrown shoe, or some excuse.  What happened to the days when sportsman raced their horses?   Before sport became business, horses didn't need excuses.  Now that breeding is money, racing is at best an after thought.  What is different about 1978 and today?  Racing isn't sport anymore it's business.  A star is retired at three years old with some excuse why he or she can't race anymore.  Smarty, Afleet Alex, Big Brown, the list goes on and on.  I am not suggesting something is askew I am saying that if we believe our stars were retired for any reason other than money we are naive.

09 Jul 2012 12:17 PM
Ranagulzion

Paula Higgins,

Great post 8 Jul 2012 11:29PM. You go girl!

09 Jul 2012 12:36 PM
Steve Haskin

Oops, I meant Nasrullah, not Nearco. Thanks for pointing that out. I have corrected it.

09 Jul 2012 12:47 PM
Ted from LA

Ted from LA

  I'll Have Another can translate any language into Greek.

Dr Drunkinbum 08 Jul 2012 1:59 PM

This is common knowledge in the industry.

09 Jul 2012 1:28 PM
TXLonghorn

Cdnkowboy, I didn't understand your point the way you intended and apologize for that misunderstanding.  I don't think the practice of retiring a horse quickly and sending him off to stud is as recent as so many of these posts would suggest, though. Look back through the history of English racing at all of their great champions who were wrapped up and shipped to Newmarket, Ireland...or America after a massive victory. (Some never ran after the Epsom Derby in May or June!) Many were campaigned through their sophomore season, but few saw the track again at four.  It's always been a business to one degree or another. That said, my favorite "team" in American sports in the Phipps Stable.  My favorite horses are Kelso and Forego.  I too long for a different era with different values...even if we remember things differently than they actually transpired...but we live today...in the here and now. The sport is not propped up and kept alive by a very few wealthy industrialists with money to burn anymore. There are a few independently rich people still playing the game, but by and large this is a commercial buyer-seller business.  If the commercial sellers don't provide what the commercial buyers want, the sport itself will go away forever.  Let's celebrate the Phipps and Janney families that we do have left, without demonizing the "smaller" owners (who keep this thing alive) when they are able to cash in.

Speaking of Kelso and Forego, I am hopeful that Game on Dude stays sound and healthy. I'd love to see Hymn Book continue to progress. Look to the geldings and race mares with less commercial pedigrees for your stars and heroes.  That is what they do in Europe. They fall in love with their steeplechasers, Cup horses and handicappers, because they stick around.  The Triple Crown and Breeders Cup are not the be-all and end-all of racing.  This sport needs another Forego, Kelso or John Henry a helluva lot more than it needs a TC winner.  Those horses were all geldings!

09 Jul 2012 2:26 PM
Linda in Texas

Fellow posters and bloggers, please correct my figure of $30 million to $10 million in my previous post. I stand corrected and apologized to Mr. Reddam for repeating a figure i had heard. One is never supposed to believe anything they hear!

Maybe in 2 years we will be able to see one of his colts or a filly running in the states. Now that is something to look forward to. And i will.

Thanks Steve.

09 Jul 2012 3:52 PM
70's Iron Horse Secretariat

I hope they have a clause in the sales contract, not to slaughter I'LL Have Another if he doesn't live up to their expectations of a stallion.

09 Jul 2012 5:11 PM
DawnStorm

MZ and Slew: you're not the only ones who dislike the Japan(ese) bashing.

09 Jul 2012 5:28 PM
Karen in Texas

70's Iron Horse Sec----Apparently you've not read Mr. Reddam's blog(?)

09 Jul 2012 6:07 PM
an ole railbird

 karen of texas, i believe that you have just paid me the greatest compliment of my life.

   to be compared to such great & accomplished man, is something that i never dreamed of.

 you have made my sprits soar, my heart sing, & my soul humble.  thank you very much. i hope i never disappoint you.

  i wish you a very nice day.

  "an ole railbird"

09 Jul 2012 8:48 PM
Karen in Texas

an ole railbird----You're welcome. The authenticity of your life experience with these horses simply shines through in all your remarks. It's something special.

09 Jul 2012 11:07 PM
gammyp

In the end Reddam says "i did what i did". Well, I hope IHA has a chance to come home like Alysheba. I hope he does become the next Sunday Silence. But the tragedy of Ferdinand will always cast a shadow of distrust. Where was the American Racing Industry when things were apparantly not going well for Ferdinand as a stallion? And no one in Japan thought to contact somebody and say "hey, your Kentucky Derby winner is not working out"? At least Reddam finally used the word greed in some context. Loves IHA? Sure. But he loves money more. He did what he did.

10 Jul 2012 2:14 AM
Bellwether

just hope he does even BETTER than Sunday Silence...its a HORSE thing most don't understand...

10 Jul 2012 8:56 AM
Cassandra.Says

I think IHA's main conformation defect in the eyes of U.S. breeders is his size, or lack of it.

The Selenes and Northern Dancers keep showing up, but nobody learns. If you eat your carrots you grow big and strong, not big and fast.

10 Jul 2012 9:12 AM
rosolini

ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

Im not going to sugercoat.

the horse ran his heart out & this is how you repay him.

I worked in racing for years in england. henry cecil. barry hills . I'm by no means rich.no amount of money could equel the privalige. of working around such wonderful creatures.so I hope  ill have anothers owner, sleeps well at night. & wont be another ferdinand .

10 Jul 2012 12:28 PM
rosolini

ROSOLINI

10 Jul 2012 12:29 PM
Lava'sStilltheMan

Although a disappointment, scratching the horse in the Belmont was a sound decision in the best interests of the horse.  Kudos to the team for making that tough ccall.  I can also understand Mr. Reddam making a business decision to seel IHA to interests who are excited to have him at stud for a good price rather than accepting a lower price in a lukewarm US market. I watch some of the big race days in Japan via TVG and it is really cool to see the energy of the fans and the full fields.  But...the thing that continues to befuddle me is why top 3-year olds are continually retired prematurely and not allowed to mount a 4-year old campaign. Wouldn't strong 4-year old seasons potentially increase stud values, line owners' wallets with high end stakes purses and give the fans heroes to root for?  

10 Jul 2012 1:48 PM
Ida Lee

I thought I was through crying for I'll Have Another leaving us but I wasn't. Your article just tore me up thinking again about this beautiful creature leaving us for Japan. I can't stand it. I do understand why he was sold...after all $10 million is $10 million. But what does that say about the breeders in this country. The photos are out of this world beautiful.

10 Jul 2012 4:29 PM
El Kabong

Steve,

I like to joke when I run across a Yank with the class and courtesy to stand out in most company that " he would have made a fine Canadian."  I guess I am used to our neighbors just north of me displaying such natural class that I attribute it to cultural differences.

I think you've gone out of your way to help people understand Mr. Reddam's decisions and I have no issues with his decisions. The real forum I'd like to hear is why the American breeders thought so little of this champion. They should be on the griddle explaining their lack of interest, not Mr. Reddam.

What do they want to see? Cards on the table.

10 Jul 2012 11:30 PM
ksweatman9

Dear God, give us more champion geldings so we don't have to debate this issue. Dear Smarty, you're in my heart, I wish you were a gelding too.

11 Jul 2012 8:48 AM
blueinTexas

Now we here he was being treated before his tendon issue; no wonder he was retired early.  Good call for the horse.

11 Jul 2012 2:30 PM
Jean in Chicago

Steve & ofelia;

 True, Nearco wasn't imported to the US, but Tesio did get him out of Italy and into England in 1938 when war was pretty obviously coming.  During WWII he had his own bomb shelter.

11 Jul 2012 2:33 PM
Karen in Texas

Steve----This is a question that is off topic, but I just noticed something "odd" about your History of Drugs blog from last week (or the week of the 4th). Are there several comments now appearing that were omitted at that time? If so, could I ask why? (At the risk of sounding paranoid.) Thanks.

11 Jul 2012 4:57 PM
Lise from Maine

Hi!

Why did the owner sell "I'll Have Another?"

I am so disappointed that he did that.

Hopefully, he will be taken of with love and dignity.

This whole thing makes me worried.

15 Jul 2012 12:02 AM
equinefan

IHA is an over-rated, small horse admired for his looks by some lunatic commenters to this article. He faced inferior competition in an especially bad year for horse racing. He won every race in exactly the same way, suggesting to me that other trainers and jockies had poor game plans for their horses.  There was no strategy this year. So his connections are due credit for playing to their horse's strength. Anyone who watches alot of horse races at all levels has seen dozens of races that were similar and dozens that were better, than any if the triple crown races run this year. Horse racing is still alive and well in smaller venues in spite of the shenanigans that went on at the top levels. I also think I'll Have Another is a poor name, very non descript, and detracts from his respect level and legacy. But the non descriptness also suits this horse. So the rabid fans in these comments should realize anything could happen with this horse, and anything did, he was sold to Japan. And based on the Big Red Farm website, he looks like the only stallion under 10, what an ugly bunch of studs at that pretty place. I think the criticism of American breeders is also totally out of line and totally naive. 2012 had an especially weak crop of 3 yr. olds with especially bad luck. But they're breeding up more. How can racing die when 30k tb foals are turned out every year.

09 Mar 2013 1:40 AM
equinefan

"...There should be no animosity toward the Japanese, who are only doing what American breeders did more than half a century ago when industry titans Bull Hancock, John Galbreath, and C.V. Whitney snatched Princequillo, Nasrullah, Ribot, Mahmoud and Sea-Bird away from the Europeans to form the nucleus of today’s American Thoroughbred."  

That's going a bit far. I don't think the Japanese are doing any better than the Americans with horse breeding as a whole, certainly not based on Big Red Farm's stable of worn out looking stallions. Look at all the greats still in the US. So they lost this one horse to overseas. It won't make any difference, and an American breeder can breed to IHA in Japan and bring back the mare and foal. I also think it's wrong to imply that Japanese breeders have better mares than Americans. No way. There are plenty of choice mares in US breeding stables. How do they keep coming up with top stallions year in and year out if they don't have good mares. And lastly, the comparison to horse operations in other countries is usually totalling unfounded, because no bothers to compare their races to American ones in a way everyone can understand. Please next time you go out to knock American racing, describe the Japanese triple crown, and the French and English triple crown and compare it race for race with the US triple crown. Then, if there's any reason to bash the Americans, go ahead. I just don't see it.

09 Mar 2013 2:32 PM
equinefan

I have to add a comment about what "Joy Jackson" said above. She's off the deep end about IHA. Saying people who work at Big Red Farm should be devoted to his happiness is more than you could ask staff to do for a human being. This is like something out of the court of Louis XVI. Personally, I find it hard to justify not letting an animal have a natural life, but once people own

them, you have to trust the interaction will be alright for the horse, in this case. She seems to think IHA owns the humans and the farm and not vice versa. I don't think this was just some

exuberant, effusive writing by this commenter  either, having read other comments of hers, I think she chooses her words carefully. I kind of resent her acting like a publicist, after the fact. I also disagree that IHA was a shoo-in to win the Belmont, given what happened in the race. You can't make those assumptions in championship racing. Besides, Union Rags made a move not unlike IHA's in the Preakness, only from the

inside.

12 Mar 2013 12:48 AM

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