I Want Revenge, the Kentucky Derby morning line favorite, was scratched because of some lameness detected in his left front ankle that showed up on the morning of the race, trainer Jeff Mullins said during a press conference at 9:15 a.m. Saturday.
Mullins said a “touch of heat” was detected in the ankle after I Want Revenge's bandages were removed early this morning, and the Stephen Got Even colt was then jogged up and down an asphalt roadway for soundness. “Actually he jogged pretty well,” Mullins said. A flexion test of the same ankle showed some lameness.
“Knowing the weather and how well they sealed the racetrack and the possibility of how hard the racetrack may be today if the rain keeps coming,” Mullins said, the decision was made to scratch the horse.
Veterinarian Foster Northrup, a member of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, also had the horse jogged and did a flexion test on the ankle that showed some lameness when the horse jogged again. Northrup said the lameness fell at one on a scale of one to five that veterinarians use, adding that “is not acceptable for any race.”
Northrup commended Mullins and breeder and co-owner David Lanzman “for doing the right thing by the horse. They made the right call for the horse.”
X-rays and ultrasound failed to show any specific problem, so neither Northrup nor Dr. Larry Bramlage, an equine surgeon, had a diagnosis of a specific injury. More tests will be conducted on the horse to determine the specific nature of the injury and when I Want Revenge could return to training.
The withdrawal of the morning line favorite was the most significant scratch on the day of the Derby since A.P. Indy was forced out due to foot lameness in 1992. The son of Seattle Slew returned a few weeks later to win the Peter Pan Stakes and the Belmont Stakes en route to 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year honors. I Want Revenge's sire, Stephen Got Even, is a son of A.P. Indy.
Copyright © 2009, The Paulick Report
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