04/11/2003 12:00AM

Badge of Silver out of Blue Grass


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Badge of Silver suffered a hairline fracture of his right front cannon bone Friday at Keeneland and will be scratched from Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, trainer Ronny Werner said early Friday evening.

Badge of Silver had a routine gallop Friday morning at Keeneland. Friday afternoon, Werner took him out of his stall to let the colt graze. Werner said he noticed Badge of Silver was favoring his left foreleg. X-rays were taken, which revealed the fracture.

"It's a hairline crack, an inch above where he had the fracture last year," said Werner, who was emotionally upset. "It's tough to take.

"I'm just glad we caught it today. If he'd have run tomorrow, he'd have been hurt badly."

Werner said Badge of Silver would likely need surgery to fuse the fracture with a screw.

"We're all heartbroken," Werner said.

Badge of Silver's absence will leave Louisiana Derby winner Peace Rules an overwhelming favorite in the Blue Grass.