Updated on 09/15/2011 2:20PM

Exogenous hurt in ugly start to Cup


ELMONT, N.Y. - The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships got off to a chilling start Saturday when Exogenous suffered a head injury after flipping and getting her leg caught in between the bars of gate while being walked to the track for the first Breeders' Cup race, the Distaff.

Unable to stand after her leg was freed, Exogenous, the 7-2 second-choice in the race, was tranquilized and then dragged into a horse ambulance for treatment.

According Dr. C.Wayne McIlwraith, the attending veterinarian, Exogenous suffered an injury to the base of her head from hitting the ground and was dazed by the blow.

After being taken to trainer Scotty Schulhofer's barn, Exogenous regained consciousness and was able to stand.

"Based on her response to therapy, it looks very good for her," McIlwraith said. "The fact that she's standing indicates it was a low-grade trauma."

Exogenous received medication for head and spine injuries. McIlwraith said the filly's legs were not injured despite being trapped in the bars of a sliding metal gate.

In full view of fans both at Belmont Park and watching on NBC-TV, Exogenous flipped just before she stepped onto the track, with her head and back hitting the ground. The 3-year-old filly's right rear leg was entrapped in the bars of the rail as track and medical personnel worked feverishly and eventually freed her leg.

"She was just about to step out on the track, when I saw her stop and look at the matrix board (in front of her)," said jockey Richard Migliore, who was immediately behind Exogenous, aboard Miss Linda, in the post parade. "I said, 'She's going to flip' and then she turned over and fell."

Exogenous was the third horse in a 12-horse post parade. The nine horses behind her returned to the paddock as their riders dismounted and the start of the Distaff was delyaed by 11 minutes.

The Distaff was also marked by tragedy in its 1990 running at Belmont when Go For Wand broke down and was destroyed.