Constitution, a leading Triple Crown hopeful off his win in last month's $1 million Florida Derby (G1), will be forced to miss the May 3rd Kentucky Derby (G1) and the rest of the 2014 Triple Crown due to the discovery of a hairline fracture in his front right cannon bone on Monday.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the undefeated son of leading sire Tapit breezed a half mile in :50 3/5 on Sunday at Palm Meadows training track in Boynton Beach, FL, and on Monday morning he was discovered to be a little off in his right front leg.
“This is one of the biggest disappointments of my career,” said Pletcher. “I really feel Constitution was our biggest chance to win the Kentucky Derby since Super Saver. My routine with all my horses is to jog them down the road, and I noticed he was slightly off (Monday). Dr. Yarborough took x-rays that revealed a slight hairline in his shin. Thankfully, it's nothing very serious, and Constitution will be back to 100% after a little time. The timing is just a real shame for everyone involved, but the Derby doesn't define a horse's career.”
Constitution will be shipped to WinStar Farm in Versailles, KY to rehabilitate, with the hopes of returning to training in 60 days and racing again in 2014. The talented bay colt is owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables.
“While we are extremely disappointed to miss the Kentucky Derby, we're just as excited about the future of Constitution,” said Randy Gullatt, Twin Creeks Racing's general manager. “We think he's just scratching the surface of his talent.”
WinStar President & CEO Elliott Walden added: “Todd has done a tremendous job with Constitution and I can't wait to get him back for two reasons: firstly, he has so much to accomplish, and secondly, he is the most exciting stallion prospect of his generation.”
Constitution holds a perfect record of three wins from three starts this winter at Gulfstream Park, including his victory last out in the March 29th Florida Derby. Out of the Distorted Humor mare Baffled, he has earnings of $649,350 to date.
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