April 25, 2010

Eskendereya Out

For the second consecutive year, the early Kentucky Derby favorite is out. Eskendereya, the strong favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby, has been removed from consideration from the run for the roses because of swelling in his left front leg. Bad news for his connections, and fans especially, but it is also bad news for any race fan that wants to see the best horses compete in the world’s most important race. Seriousness of the injury is not yet known, but for Saturday, the deal is done. Eskendereya is out of the Kentucky Derby.

The rumor mill was rampant yesterday when the word leaked out that Eskendereya would not work out at all this weekend. Fueling the speculation, was the fact that Eskendereya was the only Pletcher horse not to have his front bandages removed in his stall. The rumors were true, and the bad news was clear to the trainer by this morning. The swelling, which extends from the ankle to the knee, was worse than yesterday and meant that Eskendereya has no chance of being at his best in six short days.

One possible ramification of the disappointment, could be that Pletcher’s star filly, Devil May Care, is even more likely now to run against the boys. With the defection of her more publicized barn mate, Devil May Care can now enter the Derby with her regular rider, John Velazquez in tow. A difficult decision may be a whole lot easier now for Team Pletcher. A small consolation, but this could prove to be very good news for a stable that right now has to be in a little bit of shell-shock.

For Pletcher, this is a major blow for the hugely successful trainer who is already saddled with a Kentucky Derby albatross. Zero for twenty four, and maybe after today’s news, you can say and counting. Eskendereya is the colt that Pletcher calls the best he has ever brought to Louisville, and now he will not be saddling one of the race favorites. The good news for Mr. Pletcher is with his embarrassment of riches, he still may have a horse that can break his much publicized losing streak. Mission Impazible, Super Saver, Devil May Care, are you ready to step to the plate? Don’t be surprised if the answer is yes and today’s great disappointment is replaced with the greatest joy a trainer can celebrate in six days time.

Photo by Sue Kawczynski


malcer said...

Good post, but I do have an allergic reaction to the Ky Derby being labeled the "world's most important race". It's one of the most prestigious and most-anticipated of course, but as for actual importance, I'd rate several dozen races above the Run for the Roses, including the Preakness.
The Ky Derby is (just like the Melbourne Cup, Australia's most prestigious and anticipated race) above all, a huge spectacle, and a great one at that.

Brian Zipse said...

This might be semantics malcer, but I feel it is the most important race in the world because of its significance to the world, whether you are a racing fan or not...How many people know of the Derby that have never even heard of the Preakness, or the Arc, or the Dubai World Cup?

LDP said...

Sad news indeed, I was shocked, because litterally 30sec after I had posted someone on your thread not to get to confident that this injury was just a rumor, I go to BH and see that headline. I really think DMC will enter now, and my just have a chance to win. Her Bonnie Miss was brilliant against some horses who had been just that in their last starts, and she beat them not even trying.

Super Saver has Calvin Borel on board, and from what happened with Borel yesterday, he might just be sitting on another winner. I would not be to confident, the riders may finally have figured out his MO and may shut down the rail.

MI is working great, even out worked Rule, a horse I like. I will be very surprised, though, if a son of Unbridled Song wears the roses.

malcer said...

Good points. And yes, the most important races from a sporting perspective just don't have the same public image as the Kentucky Derby (which is on par with the Mel Cup, the race that quite literally stops a nation).

Living in Europe, I'd have to say that both races are unfortunately unknown to non-fans of racing here, but then again the same is largely true even of the German Derby and GP von Baden (outside their respective regions).

Silent Sunday said...

I think entering the filly now is a no brainer. Just makes sense to take a shot now that the heavy hitter is out.

I really am getting high on Super Saver. He has looked really good this week. It won't matter about others blocking Calvin on the rail, because SS should be pretty close up sitting 3rd or 4th I think. So it shouldn't come into play if he gets the position he wants.

And my opinion on the unrelated subject is the Derby is the most important race in the world. just my horse opinion.

railrunner said...

Very surprising with Eskendereya being withdrawn. I was really looking forward to seeing his show-down with Lookin At Lucky.

It's incredible to think that Pletcher still has so many high quality shots at winning the Derby with such a good horse lost. Devil May Care gets John Velasquez now if they enter her which is a big plus.
I really hope Pletcher keeps Interactif out so that Jackson Bend can get in.