Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero I'll Have Another has been sold to Shigeyuki Okada's Big Red Farm in Japan and is scheduled to take up stud duty in 2013, the Daily Racing Form reported Friday.
Owner J. Paul Reddam told the Form he had been in discussions with stud farms throughout the United States and farther abroad, but the Japan offer was the best.
"It was in the range we were looking for," Reddam told the trade daily. "Kentucky wasn't anywhere close to where the Japanese were. Any rational person would have been gone to the Big Red (deal) versus the Kentucky, even though we won't get to breed to the horse because he will be so far away."
I'll Have Another was going for Triple Crown glory in the Belmont Stakes on June 9, but the day prior to the race his connections announced the chestnut son of Flower Alley was not only out of the 1 1/2-mile race but retired due to a tendon injury.
Doug O'Neill, the colt's embattled trainer, announced during a hurriedly called press conference that his team noticed some swelling in I'll Have Another's left front leg following a morning gallop. O'Neill said that upon further examination it was revealed the colt was starting to develop tendonitis in his left front tendon, prompting his connections to scratch from the Belmont and retire their star colt.
"He's done so much that it was unanimous between the Reddams and my brother and I and everyone at the barn to retire him," O'Neill stated during the press conference.
I'll Have Another went undefeated during his sophomore season, racking up wins in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes and Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby prior to his two classic runs. He also finished second in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes as a juvenile. The popular chestnut will head to the breeding shed with a 5-1-0 mark from seven starts and $2,693,600 in career earnings.
I'll Have Another could leave as early as August for his new home on the island of Hokkaido, depending upon quarantine requirements. Reddam told the Form that the colt might parade at his trainer's homebase of Hollywood Park before the summer meet concludes at the Inglewood, California, venue.