02/20/2008 12:00AM

Crown of Thorns injured, will miss Derby


Crown of Thorns, the winner of the Robert Lewis Stakes earlier this month at Santa Anita and one of the top contenders for the Kentucky Derby, has "a little bit of a stress fracture" in his left front leg and will need several months to recuperate, taking him out of consideration for the Derby, his trainer, Richard Mandella, said Wednesday morning.

Crown of Thorns, owned by B. Wayne Hughes, has won twice in three starts.

"He'll stay here for a while, then go to Mr. Hughes's farm in Malibu," Mandella said. "He has the beginnings of a saucer fracture. He'll be fine."

Mandella, a Hall of Famer, has never won the Derby. His best chance this year now resides with another Hughes-owned colt, Into Mischief, the CashCall Futurity winner.