04/17/2005 11:00PM

Blues and Royals out of Derby


Blues and Royals, the runaway winner of last month's United Arab Emirates Derby, is suffering from a low-grade respiratory infection and has been taken out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby, it was announced Monday on the website of his owner, Godolphin Racing.

Blues and Royals won the UAE Derby by 12 lengths in his only start this year.

"It is very disappointing for everyone concerned, because we were all very much looking forward to taking Blues and Royals to Churchill Downs," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager. "He seemed to have the right credentials for the race, but it is just one of those things. The horse's welfare has to come first, and it just would not be possible for us to get him ready. It would not be in his best interests to send him to Kentucky. All immediate plans for him are on hold."

Crisford said Blues and Royals will be shipped to Belmont Park later this month, along with a small contingent of other horses trained by Saeed bin Suroor, and will be campaigned in the United States later in the season.