04/19/2014 12:12PM

Ankle injury puts Cairo Prince out of Kentucky Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Cairo Prince, here training last month, will have his injured left front ankle evaluated at Rood and Riddle.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin fretted for two weeks whether Cairo Prince would have enough points to make it into the Kentucky Derby field. One week after learning that Cairo Prince would indeed make it, McLaughlin had to withdraw the horse from consideration for the 140th Derby due to an injury to his left front ankle.

"This is the toughest day in my career as a trainer to have to make this announcement," McLaughlin said by phone Saturday from south Florida.

"All the owners are understanding; hopefully the horse is fine."

Cairo Prince was the authoritative winner of the Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan. 25. But he ran a lackluster fourth as the favorite in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 29.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Cairo Prince worked Sunday at Palm Meadows but came out of the work "jarred up," according to McLaughlin.

Initially, McLaughlin thought it was a foot issue, but Saturday it appeared the problem was with Cairo Prince's left front ankle.

McLaughlin said that Cairo Prince was sent on Saturday by van to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. where noted equine surgeon Dr. Larry Bramlage would do further evaluation "and hopefully figure out exactly what's wrong," McLaughlin said.

Cairo Prince, a son of Pioneerof the Nile, was a $250,000 purchase as a yearling at the 2012 Keeneland auction. He was owned intially by Harvey Clarke, Paul Braverman, Terrence Murray, and Craig Robertson III. That quartet sold the majority interest in Cairo Prince to Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin Racing following the Holy Bull.

The defection of Cairo Prince would open up a spot in the Derby starting gate for Vinceremos, winner of the Sam F. Davis at Tampa but last-place finisher in the Blue Grass at Keeneland.

Vinceremos is owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing, which announced Wednesday that an injury to Florida Derby winner Constitution will force him to miss the Triple Crown series.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said earlier this week he wanted to see how Vinceremos trained at Churchill Downs before making a Derby decision.

John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Seems that every couple of days DRF is reporting another casualty on the Derby trail. Now there are rumors, hopefully, untrue about CC's right front leg. Would like to see an analysis on the North American vs European "stakes" level horses.
James Tunick More than 1 year ago
Where did you hear CC's right leg might be injured? He just worked out on Saturday and Art Sherman called the work perfect.
Henry Malmoth More than 1 year ago
How much did the Sheikh pay for majority interest in the Prince?
Roger Wiskavitch More than 1 year ago
Too much.
Mike Marceda More than 1 year ago
Does it matter?
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Hopefully he will be fine. The Derby trail is a meat grinder..
Leslie Burke Fernandes More than 1 year ago
gulfstream continues to cripple horses!
Roger Wiskavitch More than 1 year ago
What track in North America doesn't?
redboy More than 1 year ago
The Prince will not be crowned King.
Nick More than 1 year ago
can you imagine if Pletcher trained this horse...OMG! the thought of it.......all the bashers would be overcrowding the I hate Pletcher bandwagon,,,,,,,you need to understand something,,,he wins races and you lose because you want to play against him....he excells in his field......do you?
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Is Todd paying his exercise riders to compliment him on these blogs Nick? I believe youtold me at Palm Meadows that CConstitution "wasn't much"? Too headstrong to win at a distance!! So which Nick is this.... the one who thinks only the horses HE GALLOPS have a chance..or the Nick who admires ALL OF TODD`s work?
Roger Wiskavitch More than 1 year ago
Pletcher has a miserable ROI from a betting standpoint. He should win races, he gets how many yearlings..........royally bred at that. From a betting perspective I will stick to Motion or Ward.........a better ROI.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Wipe your chin Nick.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
That's to bad for Cairo Prince and connections . Horse had a good chance of winning it I guess. For Pletcher, also a bummer for his horse Constitution not making it. He should hopefully soon declare Vinceremos a non starter as well if he has any class and let the next on the list try to compete in this next Kentucky Derby. Hopefully with a few more out, this will lead to a start for Social Inclusion. Let this second son of Pioneer of the Nile ( Cairo Prince )horse will be the first since way back to have not race at the age of 2 IMO to get the JOB DONE.
Bob More than 1 year ago
Doesn't matter, he wouldn't have won the Derby anyway.
Beenthere Donethat More than 1 year ago
You got my point, Bob.
Beenthere Donethat More than 1 year ago
Who is Cairo Prince?
David Voelker More than 1 year ago
They save the embarrassment of running up the track