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Belmont Stakes 2012: One Less Competitor For I'll Have Another As Alpha Drops Out

Via Daily Racing Form comes the news that Alpha will not be racing in the 2012 Belmont Stakes. That makes one fewer horse to come between favorite I'll Have Another and the Triple Crown. The horse developed a fever and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin didn't want to take any risks:

“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.

Odds on Alpha winning the race were 15/1, so his absence doesn't change the lineup of serious contenders. Union Rags is still the biggest threat to I'll Have Another, with Dullahan and Paynter not far behind.

Stay tuned to this storystream for odds, updates, news and more from the 2012 Belmont Stakes. SB Nation's horse racing blog And Down The Stretch They Come has you covered for full time horse racing news and analysis. And don't miss the 2012 Belmont Stakes Preview from SB Nation Studios: