Injury sidelines Kentucky Derby contender

Far From Over is expected to live up to his name again, but in the meantime, his Kentucky Derby hope

Far From Over is expected to live up to his name again, but in the meantime, his Kentucky Derby hopes are over.

One of trainer Todd Pletcher’s top prospects for the Run for the Roses on May 2, Far From Over suffered a hairline fracture in his left hind leg during a workout at Palm Beach Downs in Florida this weekend, and will have a pin surgically inserted.

He would have been one of the favorites for the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on Saturday. Instead, he’ll be sidelined for several months and will miss all three Triple Crown races.

Pletcher said the injury is minor, and the son of Blame should recover fully.

“The prognosis is very, very good that he’ll come back 100 percent,” Pletcher said during a national teleconference on Tuesday. “I’m just disappointed for the connections, but we’re looking forward to a fall campaign and a 4-year-old campaign.”

Far From Over was named by owner Steven Marshall of Black Rock Stables in reference to the New York Rangers’ Dominic Moore, who sat out the 2012-13 NHL season while tending to his cancer-stricken wife, Katie.

In the Withers at Aqueduct on Feb. 7, the colt appeared to be totally out of the race when he stumbled from the gate, but he made an eye-opening comeback to win by 1 3⁄4 lengths over the highly regarded El Kabeir and stamp himself among Pletcher’s half-dozen or so Derby contenders.

Far From Over came out of a workout Sunday a little off in his left hind, and a nuclear scan revealed the hairline fracture to his condylar bone.

“It’s very disappointing, to say the least,” Pletcher said. “But it’s only a minor fracture. He was only slightly off, he was walking comfortably and we only noticed it on the trot.”

Pletcher will still have Daredevil, who won the Grade I Champagne last year and is coming off a loss as the 3-5 favorite in the Swale, for the Wood.

The field is also expected to include Gotham winner El Kabeir, Godolphin Stable’s Frosted, Tencendur, Toasting Master and Tiz Shea D.

Now that Far From Over is out of the Wood, Lieutenant Colonel, trained by Mechanicville’s Chad Brown, is expected to run.

El Kabeir broke his maiden by 10 3⁄4 lengths in his second attempt at Saratoga Race Course last summer.

Unlike some in the Wood field, he has run a busy race schedule, with eight career starts and three this year.

After losing in the Withers, he used an uncharacteristic closing style to win the Gotham by 2 3⁄4 lengths over Tiz Shea D.

“He’s really matured and developed mentally and physically, and he found a new dimension last time,” trainer John Terranova said.


Also on Saturday are the Blue Grass at Keeneland and the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park.

The eight-horse field for the Blue Grass, from the rail out, will be Ocho Ocho Ocho, Gorgeous Bird, Pepper Roani, Unrivaled, Carpe Diem, Frammento, Classy Class and Danzig Moon.

Carpe Diem broke his maiden at Saratoga and has raced at Keeneland, winning the Breeders’ Futurity, at which point Pletcher said the Blue Grass looked like a good Derby prep to point toward.

His only loss in four starts is a second to Texas Red in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

“We’re just hoping for a smooth run; he doesn’t have to win,” Pletcher said. “He’s already stamped himself as one of the leading contenders for the Derby.”

Dortmund, undefeated in five starts for trainer Bob Baffert, should be a heavy favorite for the Santa Anita Derby, then Baffert will send the other half of his 1-2 punch, American Pharoah, out in the Arkansas Derby next weekend.

Those two were the shortest prices for the final pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, and Baffert said during the teleconference that this year reminded him of 2001, when he had Point Given and Congaree as 3-year-olds.

He also compared Dortmund to Wisconsin center Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky.

“He’s tall and leggy. He has a smaller build in the chest, but he’s big and long and really light on his feet.”


Following a second to Prince Bishop in the $10 million Dubai World Cup last weekend, majority owner Perry Martin of Dumb Ass Partners has decided to send Horse of the Year California Chrome to Newmarket in England to train for the June 17 Prince of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A logical prep for the Prince of Wales would be the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 16.


Tim Snyder, the Finger Lakes-based trainer of Lisa’s Booby Trap, died on March 24.

He and his filly gained national attention in 2010 because of their backstory and success on the track.

Named for Snyder’s deceased wife, Lisa’s Booby Trap came to Saratoga undefeated and won the Loudonville Stakes before losing on the turf in the Riskaverse.

Their story became the subject of the book “The Ghost Horse” written by Joe Layden of Saratoga Springs. . . .

Larry Collmus will make his debut replacing Tom Durkin as the primary NYRA track announcer today at Aqueduct. . . .

Smart Strike was euthanized last Wednesday due to laminitis. He was the sire of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, 2007 Eclipse Award-winning turf star English Channel, Preakness winner Lookin at Lucky and 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juv­enile Fillies winner My Miss Aurelia.

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