10/28/2014 12:46PM

Foot problem forces American Pharoah out of Breeders' Cup Juvenile

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Barbara D. Livingston
American Pharoah training Sunday at Santa Anita, two days before a foot injury forced him out of the Breeders' Cup.

ARCADIA, Calif. – American Pharoah, expected to be a heavy favorite, was scratched from Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita on Tuesday due to an injury, his connections announced.

A devastated Bob Baffert, who trains American Pharoah for Ahmed Zayat, said the problem is with the colt’s left front foot. X-rays and an ultrasound had come back negative, he said. Baffert said he hopes it’s a “deep, deep foot bruise” but planned to perform a nuclear scan on the horse later this week.

“It’s not soft tissue, it’s not bone,” Baffert said. “The horse never had a bad day. It’s sickening.”

Baffert said he noticed that American Pharoah was off Monday morning, one day after he put in his final workout over Santa Anita’s main track.

:: BREEDERS’ CUP 2014: Post positions and odds

American Pharoah was the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Juvenile based on dominant victories in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita. His subsequent training had Baffert extremely excited about running him in the Juvenile.

“We all saw the way he was training,” Baffert said. “He’s something special. I hadn’t had a colt like this in a long time. It’s a pretty tough pill to swallow. He’s going to be okay, but it’s just the timing – it’s a killer. It’s the most disappointing thing coming up to a race for a scratch like this I’ve ever been through.”

Baffert added, “I just never had one coming up so perfect.”

Zayat, by phone from New Jersey, said American Pharoah is the best horse he has ever owned, and he wasn’t willing to wait a few days to see if the horse got better.

“When he’s that special and that good, you treat him as such,” Zayat said of American Pharoah, a homebred son of Pioneerof the Nile. “He’s off today – I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. This horse was going to win off the screen. My whole family is crying. It’s an incredible blow to all of us.”

With the scratch of American Pharoah, Santa Anita linemaker Jon White has made Daredevil the 5-2 favorite, with his stablemate Carpe Diem the 3-1 second choice. There will now be 12 runners in the race.

Baffert and Zayat both have a horse in the Juvenile. Baffert runs the maiden winner One Lucky Dane, an 8-1 shot on the morning line, while Zayat has Mr. Z, a 15-1 shot trained by D. Wayne Lukas.

:: BREEDERS’ CUP WORKOUTS: Video analysis, news, and times

On Tuesday, Baffert didn’t have the desire to look ahead to the Juvenile or any of the Breeders’ Cup races.

“I really lost a lot of the excitement” for the Breeders’ Cup, Baffert said. “You get to the barn, and you want to vomit.”

Christia More than 1 year ago
Training a horse is like shooting a rubber band...the further you pull it back...the faster they will fly....BUT how far can you go until something snaps? Trainers like Baffert who dance on that line will always have breakdowns.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
So disappointing. He really appears to be a special one; let's just hope he comes back strong - maybe for the Futurity? I can't remember a B.C. that has ever lost so many big stars, including the overwhelming favorites in 3 races. I'll still be watching, but a lot of the excitement and anticipation have gone for me.
David More than 1 year ago
New home page view is terrible, who ever thought up this idea should reevaluate this big mistake. I don't want to have to scroll down to look for stories I am interested in.
Bob Rose More than 1 year ago
“I really lost a lot of the excitement” for the Breeders’ Cup, Baffert said. “You get to the barn, and you want to vomit.” Lots more favorable for our Sport than making the entire Nation/World vomit as they watch another of your fatalities...jus sayin'...
tommy More than 1 year ago
Nooooo!!! I needed American pharoah in the race because he was a heavy favorite so that my long shot will win because he was a better horse. Now my horse will be a favorite : (
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
It's not good, but you guys need to count your blessings.
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Too many furlongs worked for a LASIX using two year old colt. Already had 45 furlongs in the last two months. Running in juvy would have been 53f. Beholder just had 55f. Paynter was working around 60 before his laminitis battle.
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
If this minor its a blessing to get the time off. This horse is a freak too fast for his own good. I am skeptical it's minor but if it is this is a serious horse in 2015.
Tom Jefferson More than 1 year ago
Formulator is down again! $219 a month and before every major racing day it's a fiasco. Here we are 4 days out and its already down.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Is this a wise and frugal government?
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
"You'll see him in the spring" is ALL I needed to hear. THANK GOD!!! Lose the battle and maybe WIN the War? I can only hope! ;-)
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
You'll see him in the first big race they can find after the BC.
Rodney More than 1 year ago
Could be...