Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eskendereya declared out of Derby

I thought this might be the year for the Storm Cat line to finally get its first son to wear the garland of roses on the first Saturday of May. But a text alert to my phone from Thoroughbred Times buzzed me awake at 9:34 Sunday morning with the news that the horse almost certain to be the morning-line and post-time favorite, Eskendereya, was declared out of the Kentucky Derby.

The Giant's Causeway colt was arguably the best chance Todd Pletcher has ever had to get his first Derby winner as trainer, as well.

Details will follow soon as the working race-media can provide them. At present, the latest on still suggests that the horse's trainer was trying to decide this morning on whether to send out Eskendereya and Derby-possible Interactif for Sabbath-day works over a track affected by heavy rains the day prior.

(Update: The Blood-Horse reports at 10 a.m. that Pletcher says the horse is experiencing a "slight filling" in his left front leg. Tests will determine the nature and severity. Pletcher said the horse is not lame.)

The declaration marks the second year in a row that a scintillating Wood Memorial winner can't make the gate at Churchill for health reasons. I Want Revenge was scratched on Derby morn after his connections and veterinarians determined he wasn't fit to race. His unsoundness prompted a lawsuit between members of the ownership group and a New York Times story trying to make I Want Revenge the poster horse for how legal pharmaceuticals affect racing. The Stephen Got Even colt has never raced again.

Let's hope this isn't the last we've seen of Eskendereya.

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