Godolphin Racing's Alpha will miss the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 9 after developing a fever, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Thursday.
"He spiked a temperature on Tuesday evening," McLaughlin said. "103. He was fine by 11 p.m. that evening after treatment, fine yesterday, and he's fine today, but it's too high a temperature too close to the race. It's unfortunate."
Alpha finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby. Earlier this year, the son of Bernardini won Aqueduct Racetrack's Count Fleet and Grade 3 Withers and finished second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial prior to the Derby.
His defection reduces the prospective Belmont field to 11: I'll Have Another, Atigun, Dullahan, Five Sixteen, Guyana Star Dweej, Optimizer, Paynter, Ravelo's Boy, Street Life, Union Rags and Unstoppable U.