Fly So Free, the 2-year-old champion in 1990 and a favorite in the Kentucky Derby who finished a disappointing fifth, is being withdrawn from the last two Triple Crown races.
Trainer Scotty Schulhofer told the New York Times on Tuesday that Fly So Free will run shorter races instead of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes."He's sound, he's beautiful, but I don't want to destroy him at long distances," Schulhofer said.
"I just don't think he wants to go a mile and a quarter."
Fly So Free, bred in Kentucky, won the Breeder's Cup Juvenile and the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old last year.
He opened this season by winning the Gulfstream Triple Crown - the Hutcheson Stakes, the Fountain of Youth and the Florida Derby - before faltering in last Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
"I always was a little suspicious that he couldn't go a mile and a quarter," Schulhofer said. "In the Derby, he gave everything he had, but he didn't want to run that last eighth.
"A lot of horses would be depressed after getting beat like that. But he's a great horse, always upbeat and willing. And I just don't want to kill him trying to go distances like that."
The Preakness, second leg of the 3-year-old Triple Crown, is 1 3-16ths miles and the Belmont a mile and a half.
Schulhofer also predicted that another of his star horses, Cahill Road, would never race again.
Cahill Road, a full brother of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, has a strained suspensory ligament in his left foreleg.
Cahill Road sustained the injury while winning the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct two weeks ago.
"It's 95 percent sure he won't run again," Schulhofer said. "Damage to the suspensory is a major thing."