Updated on 10/31/2013 2:31PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Ron the Greek to scratch due to quarter crack

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ron the Greek, the winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup last out, will miss the Breeders' Cup Classic because of a quarter crack.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Trainer Bill Mott wasn’t sure that Ron the Greek would be able to duplicate his eye-catching performance in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28 in Saturday’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

But he wanted the chance to find out if he could.

Unfortunately, Mott won’t get that chance, as on Thursday, he announced that Ron the Greek would be scratched from the Classic due to a quarter crack in his right front foot.

Mott said he noticed an issue with Ron the Greek on Wednesday at feed time. Mott said Ron the Greek had a bruise in the heel of the foot and that an abscess popped out later in the afternoon.

“He’ll be okay,” Mott said. “He’s not going to be okay for Saturday.”

Ron the Greek, who finished fourth in last year’s Classic, was coming off a 6 3/4-length victory as a 21-1 longshot in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. While many handicappers were expecting him to bounce, or regress, off such a big effort, his three workouts since the Gold Cup were uncharacteristically sharp for him.

“Given the way he was doing, he seemed like he was going to be a factor,” Mott said. “It would have been fun to run him. We were excited about his chances.”

The scratch of Ron the Greek reduced the Classic field to 11 and will move Flat Out from post 12 to post 11.

It is unclear whether Ron the Greek will race again. Adam Wachtel, the majority owner of Ron the Greek, said there has been some renewed interest in the 6-year-old son of Full Mandate as a stallion prospect.

“Since the Jockey Club, we received several offers for Ron the Greek,” Wachtel said. “We were working on something post-Breeders’ Cup. We should have something finalized really soon.”

If Ron the Greek does not race again, he will retire with a record of 9-5-3 from 29 starts, with career earnings of $2,704,691. Last year, he won the Grade 1 Stephen Foster and Santa Anita handicaps. This year, he won the Sunshine Millions Classic and the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Ron the Greek was originally owned solely by his breeder, Jack Hammer. In the summer of 2011, Wachtel and his business partner, Nils Brous, bought a majority interest in the horse. Earlier this year, Gary Barber bought a share of Ron the Greek.