Updated on 09/17/2011 10:36AM

Atswhatimtalknbout, Colita out of Belmont

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A foot problem will keep Atswhatimtalknbout, fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, from racing in the Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Funny Cide's attempt to become Thoroughbred racing's 12th Triple Crown winner got a little easier Thursday when the connections of contender Atswhatimtalknbout and longshot Colita were withdrawn from consideration for the June 7 Belmont Stakes.

Their defections reduce the number of definite starters to seven with three more still remaining as possible. The definites are Best Minister, Dynever, Empire Maker, Funny Cide, Scrimshaw, Supervisor, and Ten Most Wanted. Possible starters include Midway Road, Outta Here, and Wild and Wicked.

The defection of Atswhatimtalknbout was not surprising. Atswhatimtalknbout has been dealing with a problem in his right front hoof since May 16. An abscess that popped open over the weekend developed into a quarter crack. Wednesday, Atswhatimtalknbout turned in a sub-par workout at Churchill Downs, covering one mile in 1:46.80. Trainer Ron Ellis deduced the horse might have been trying to protect himself, which is why he worked so slowly.

Upon returning to California Wednesday afternoon, Ellis met with owner B. Wayne Hughes and the decision was made to ship the horse back to California. Atswhatimtalknbout will most likely leave Churchill Monday.

"We're going to go ahead and bring him home,' Ellis said Thursday from his Santa Anita barn. "I think he was trying to tell me something [Wednesday] so I think I'm going to listen to him.'

Thursday, a patch was removed from Atswhatimtalknbout's right foot and a second quarter crack was found.

Ellis said he has no timetable for Atswhatimtalknbout's return. Atswhatimtalknbout finished a fast-closing fourth behind Funny Cide in the Kentucky Derby.

"We'll let the foot grow back and take care of it the right way,' Ellis said "I'd be sick if I pushed on him. It's a shame; he was sitting on go. It's disappointing, I wanted to be there.'

Too little time for Colita

Colita, a winner of a second-level allowance race May 21, was also withdrawn from the Belmont Thursday.

"It's just back too quick for this horse,' said Barry Irwin, head of the Team Valor syndicate that owns half the horse. "He ran real fast, he's not recovering like we want. Rather than just go in there - this is going to be a tough race, this is no easy race - we'll skip this one, look for something more normal and shoot for the Travers.'

Among the races Colita may run in next are the $250,000 Leonard Richards at Delaware Park June 14 or the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont July 5.

Colita, a son of 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone, won his allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 106.

Ordinary morning for Funny Cide

Funny Cide came out his Wednesday workout in good order, according to exercise rider and assistant trainer Robin Smullen. Funny Cide simply walked the shed row Thursday and was scheduled to go back to the track Friday.

"He ate up, he's feeling good,' Smullen said. "He was wild this morning walking.'

Smullen said she and trainer Barclay Tagg took extra precautions regarding Funny Cide's feet because he was constantly training over a wet track. Funny Cide has not had any problems with his feet.

Smullen said that Funny Cide would stand in a tub filled with hot water and Epsom salts and would also have his feet painted with iodine "to harden them. It sort of takes the sting out. A lot of bruises can happen over muddy surfaces.'

In other news regarding Funny Cide, it was revealed Thursday that Woodbine officials had proposed a match race between Funny Cide and whomever wins the June 22 Queen's Plate at Woodbine.

Tagg said he is not a fan of match races and said it would not happen.

"Match races put too much pressure on the horse, it's unfair,' Tagg said. "It might sound unsporting but there's too many races out there to go in against him. I don't like to be put in that position, I don't like to put the horse in that position.'

Belmont Stakes contenders

The following horses are being considered for the 135th Belmont Stakes on June 7:

HorseJockeyTrainerLast start
Best MinisterS. SellersK. McPeek1st, Sir Barton
DyneverE. PradoC. Clement1st, L.S. Derby
Empire MakerJ. BaileyR. Frankel2nd, Ky. Derby
Funny CideJ. SantosB. Tagg1st, Preakness
ScrimshawG. StevensD.W. Lukas3rd, Preakness
SupervisorUndecidedL. Rice3rd, Peter Pan
Ten Most WantedP. DayW. Dollase9th, Ky. Derby

* Possible: Midway Road, Outta Here, Wild and Wicked