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Belmont Stakes 2012: Alpha Drops Out Of Race, I'll Have Another Still Favored To Win Triple Crown

I'll Have Another will face one fewer opponent in his bid for the Triple Crown, as Daily Racing Form reports that Alpha has dropped out of the race. The horse developed a fever, and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin explained the reason for pulling the horse from the race:

“It’s just not the thing to do,” said McLaughlin, who discussed the situation with Godolphin Racing manager Simon Crisford. “It’s a demanding race, the mile and a half. We need to be 110 percent and we’re not.”

McLaughlin said future plans for Alpha were not yet determined.

Alpha joins Creative Cause and Bodemeister in skipping the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Before dropping out the odds on an Alpha victory were 15/1, so the lineup of major contenders is unchanged. I'll Have Another is still the favorite, with Union Rags close behind.

Stick with this storystream for updates, odds, and more from the 2012 Belmont Stakes. All your horse racing news and analysis needs can be met at SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come. And don't miss the SB Nation Studios 2012 Belmont Stakes Preview: