02/19/2014 1:21PM

Fair Grounds: Bond Holder withdraws from Risen Star

Shigeki Kikkawa
Bond Holder, less than 100 percent after a rough flight, will skip the Risen Star to await the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

NEW ORLEANS – Bond Holder will be scratched from the Risen Star Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds due to body soreness caused by a rough flight from Los Angeles to New Orleans, trainer Doug O’Neill said Wednesday.

Bond Holder would have been among the favorites in the Grade 2, $400,000 Risen Star. In September, he won the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes, subsequently finishing fourth, beaten about three lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, and fourth, beaten about nine lengths, in the Dec. 14 CashCall Futurity, Bond Holder’s most recent race.

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Bond Holder’s defection allows Emmett Park, the first also-eligible, to draw into the over-subscribed Risen Star.

Bond Holder flew here Sunday on a FedEx flight. O’Neill’s stable is active on Twitter, and two postings earlier this week suggested nothing was amiss. Monday, O’Neill’s Twitter account reported that “Bond Holder and crew arrived safely yesterday.”

Tuesday, the stable tweeted that Bond Holder had jogged without incident during training hours. “All reports are good,” the tweet said, referencing assistant trainer Leandro Mora, who was overseeing Bond Holder’s training here.

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“He jogged yesterday and Leandro was very happy with him. Johnny Garcia was on him and he was very happy,” O’Neill said Wednesday. “This morning he just seemed a little body sore, which he was when we first got there from the trip. All his major parts are good. He’s probably 90 percent. None of us want to lead him over if he’s not 100 percent. The right move is to get him on the plane, get him home, and shoot for the San Felipe.”

The San Felipe Stakes is on March 7 at Santa Anita. Bond Holder will fly back to California on Sunday, O’Neill said.

Owned by Reddam Racing Stable, Bond Holder as of Wednesday had accumulated the seventh-most Kentucky Derby qualifying points, 11, but he will drop in the standings this weekend with stakes offering 85 qualifying points each to be run at Fair Grounds and Gulfstream.

A previous version of this article misstated the number of Kentucky Derby qualifying points offered in stakes run at Fair Grounds and Gulfstream this weekend. The races will offer 85 points each, not 95.