04/30/2007 11:00PM

Cobalt Blue, Xchanger out of Derby


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Cobalt Blue and Xchanger were both withdrawn from consideration for Saturday's 133rd Kentucky Derby on Tuesday, paving the way for Teuflesberg and Imawildandcrazyguy to get into the field.

The decision to skip the Derby with Cobalt Blue was made by owner Merv Griffin, who didn't think running off a seventh-pace finish in the Illinois Derby and a subsequent subpar workout last weekend at Keeneland was the right thing to do by the horse.

On Tuesday, O'Neill was encouraged by the way Cobalt Blue was training since he put blinkers on the colt on Sunday.

"I think it all starts with the Hawthorne race, that was so disappointing," O'Neill said Tuesday. "I think his last workout at Keeneland was very questionable; the time was fast but [exercise rider Tony Romero] said he was just really lackadaisical. Merv said don't run that horse just for me. If we need to bring him back home and find a different spot let's do it. I put in a little bit of plea because the colt is a talented colt, but at the end of the day it's probably the right move."

According to Churchill Downs officials, Mark Shuman, the trainer of Xchanger, informed the racing office that he would not be running his horse in the Derby.