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May 23, 2015

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Dullahan now favored in the Belmont Stakes as interest plummets in Las Vegas

Odds shift drastically after I’ll Have Another pulls out of race

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Darron Cummings, associated press

Jockey Mario Gutierrez rides I’ll Have Another to victory in the 138th Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ky.

I'll Have Another

Doug O'Neill, foreground, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another, brings the horse out for a news conference at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., on Friday, June 8, 2012. I'll Have Another's bid for a Triple Crown ended with the shocking news that the colt was out of the Belmont Stakes due to a swollen left front tendon. Launch slideshow »

With I’ll Have Another no longer competing in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, several Las Vegas race and sports books are absolved from potentially having to pay out future wagers on a horse winning the Triple Crown.

That doesn’t mean local bookmakers were pleased when they heard news of I’ll Have Another’s swollen tendon Friday morning. On the contrary, it was a devastating blow to what looked like a promising weekend for the books.

Casinos were expecting large crowds and a betting handle that rivaled last month’s Kentucky Derby with a horse bidding to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. Betting volume won’t come close to approaching that level now.

As a 4-to-5 favorite on the morning line from Belmont Park, I’ll Have Another was expected to draw lopsided public action to win the race.

The updated Belmont odds list Dullahan, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby, as the favorite at 9-to-5. Union Rags, the seventh-place finisher in the derby after posting as the morning line favorite, is 5-to-2.

The two other projected contenders in the Belmont, Paynter and Street Life, are 4-to-1 and 6-to-1, respectively.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or case.keefer@lasvegassun.com. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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