04/13/2010 11:00PM

Aikenite to try Derby Trial instead of Derby


Aikenite, who finished eighth of nine in the Blue Grass Stakes on Saturday at Keeneland, will be wheeled back in the Grade 3, $200,000 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs on April 24, but he is not going to be considered for the Kentucky Derby one week later, Cot Campbell, the president of the Dogwood Stables partnership that owns Aikenite, said Wednesday.

"Our colt's reversal of form in the Blue Grass has made the Kentucky Derby an illogical move, but we are - after exhaustive postrace tests that show the colt to be in perfect health - going to draw a line through the Blue Grass and wheel Aikenite back in the one-mile Derby Trial Stakes," Campbell said in a press release issued by Dogwood. "The Blue Grass was puzzling in that three of the favorites ran in the last three spots. The horse that won it, Stately Victor, a 40-1 shot, had been defeated by Aikenite by seven lengths in their only previous encounter.

"The synthetic tracks have proven to be unpredictable in form and for all of these reasons we're going to 'throw the race out,' regroup, and go again - although without any thoughts of the grueling Kentucky Derby on May 1," Campbell said.

"The Blue Grass is the only truly bad race Aikenite has run," Campbell added, "and we're certainly not giving up on him."

Aikenite, trained by Todd Pletcher, has $221,750 in graded stakes earnings, which would place him 23rd on the list potential Kentucky Derby runners if he were to be considered for the Derby. He was ruled out of Derby consideration by Campbell on Monday.