Songbird To Miss Kentucky Oaks, Developed Fever After Santa Anita Oaks

by | 04.17.2016 | 9:12pm
Songbird wins the Santa Anita Oaks

Unbeaten champion Songbird will be forced to miss this year's Kentucky Oaks after developing a “low grade fever” following the Santa Anita Oaks, announced owner Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm Sunday evening. The full statement from the farm's Facebook page is as follows:

“Unfortunately we have to report that Songbird will miss the Kentucky Oaks. She developed a low grade fever after the SA Oaks and has not been able to go out to the track. With the fever not resolved, she was started on a course of antibiotics today, and as a result it'll be another 7-10 days before she's able to return to the track. We are sorry to have to miss the Oaks but what's most important is to get Songbird well, and we have 2 great vets along with Jerry and his team taking good care of her.”

The sophomore daughter of Medaglia d'Oro would have been the heavy favorite for the May 6 race. Songbird has posted a seven-race win streak thus far, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and three additional Grade 1 events. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has campaigned the filly over the course of her star-studded career, which earned her the 2015 Eclipse Award for Champion 2-Year-Old Filly.

“She showed up with a temp one morning and we got on it right away,” Hollendorfer told bloodhorse.com. “It never got to be a high temperature and we think she's going to be fine, but we don't want her to train right now, so that's why we'll miss the Oaks.

“You know what matters the most? Taking care of Songbird,” he continued. “Forget about trying to win another Oaks. Those races are very difficult to win and everything has to go perfect for you to get there. Things didn't go perfect and we're not going to get there, but we think we have a great future with Songbird.”

She finished 3 3/4 lengths in front in the Santa Anita Oaks over a sloppy, sealed track, despite jockey Mike Smith never so much as asking her to run. Songbird has similarly dominated the competition in every start of her career, and is a frequent flyer among the NTRA's Top Ten Thoroughbred poll. Many racing analysts have dubbed her the best 3-year-old in training in the United States.

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