Dianne Cotter's Bellamy Road colt Toby's Corner has been withdrawn from consideration from the 137th Kentucky Derby on Saturday because of lameness in his left hind leg, according to published reports. The winner of the Wood Memorial and conqueror of then-unbeaten 2-year-old champion Uncle Mo was scheduled to van to Kentucky today from his Fair Hill Training Center base in Maryland by trainer H. Graham Motion, but instead was sent to nearby New Bolton center near Philadelphia for a bone scan diagnosis.
News of Toby's Corner setback was first published by the Clancy brothers ST Publishing website, which had been chronicling the colt's preparations for the Kentucky Derby. Toby's Corner worked six furlongs at Fair Hill in 1:15 on Sunday morning and jogged Monday, when a problem was detected. Diagnosis at New Bolston did not immediately determine a specific issue with the leg.
At Churchill Downs Tuesday, Motion talked about the situation:
Toby's Corner breezed six furlongs over the Tapeta surface at the Fair Hill Training Center Sunday morning. Motion's top assistant, Adrian Rolls, noticed that the colt was off in his left rear while he was walking Monday morning. Toby's Corner was sent to the New Bolton Center in West Chester, Pa., Monday afternoon for an examination by Dr. Dean Richardson. The colt stayed at the hospital overnight and this morning Motion decided not to ship him to Churchill Downs.
“We spent a couple of hours trying to figure out how to handle it and what we were dealing with. We were within a 24-hour window of making a decision of whether he would to ship today or not. Obviously, time was of the essence to rule out whether we were dealing with a minor foot abscess or a significant injury.
“When we really couldn't get to the bottom of what it was because there was nothing clinical or nothing obvious, at that point I spoke with Dean, who was actually in surgery, I asked if he would be able have a look at him and/or get him into a bone scan because I couldn't see how else we were going to get to the bottom of what we were dealing with.”
“Adrian went and met with Dean the first thing this morning, at 6 o'clock, to see if there was any improvement, to see if there is any change. Adrian and I spoke and we spoke with Dean at about 6:30 and felt that he was exactly the same as he had been the previous afternoon. At that point, I called Mrs. (Dianne) Cotter and told her that we were in trouble, basically.
“I had already spoken with Mrs. Cotter yesterday and told her what we were up to.”
Can you put into perspective what type of blow this is?
“I've tried to think what to compare it to and I don't really know how to compare it. It completely takes the wind out of your sails. It's like getting a kick in the stomach. Everyone for weeks has been saying, 'Are you excited? You'll be excited. You've got to enjoy it.' But it's so hard to enjoy it because you just know that things like this are around the corner.
“I think as trainer you become somewhat of a pessimist because you half expect something like this to happen. That's why it's hard to get too up for these events until you're there.”
What's ahead for Toby's Corner?
“Dean is spending more time with him this afternoon. I'll speak with him later on. Once he has a look at him, we'll get him back over to Fair Hill.”
The defection of Toby's Corner puts Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner Derby Kitten into the starting field, based on Graded Stakes earnings.
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