04/07/2012 10:57AM

Aqueuduct: Calibrachoa scratched from Carter with quarter crack


OZONE PARK, N.Y. -  Calibrachoa, winner of the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap in his last start, was scratched out of Saturday’s Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct due to a quarter crack in his right front foot, trainer Todd Pletcher said Saturday morning.

His defection reduced the Carter to field to five horses, but only four betting interests as Emcee and Tahitian Warrior will be coupled.

Pletcher said Calibrachoa grabbed a quarter when he stumbled at the start of the Grade 3 Toboggan on Feb. 4, a race he won by 2 1/4 lengths over Aqueduct’s inner track.

Pletcher said while Calibrachoa ran with a patch in the Tom Fool - a race he won by a neck over Caleb’s Posse - it did not develop into a full-blown quarter crack until after the horse breezed on April 1.

Pletcher said the quarter crack was detected when he was preparing the horse to get new shoes earlier in the week.

“We couldn’t quite get it where we could patch it,” Pletcher said. “In order to patch those things properly you got to dry it out, you can’t put any material over it so as to avoid infection. It’s a case where by Monday or Tuesday it would have been okay.”

Calibrachoa, owned by Mike Repole, has done his best work at Aqueduct going 5 for 5 over the inner track and 2 for 3 over the main track.

“It’s disappointing because the horse loves Aqueduct, it’s a Grade 1 opportunity over a track that he seems to prefer all others, but such is the game,” Pletcher said. “Bad timing.”