04/02/2008 12:00AM

Georgie Boy off Derby trail with pulled muscle


ARCADIA, Calif. – Georgie Boy is out of the Santa Anita Derby and off the Kentucky Derby trail with a pulled muscle in his back.

Trainer Kathy Walsh announced Monday afternoon that Georgie Boy would be sidelined indefinitely. Walsh and owner George Schwary were scheduled to meet Tuesday at Hollywood Park to discuss Georgie Boy’s recovery process.

Walsh told the Santa Anita publicity department that Georgie Boy came out of a six-furlong workout Saturday at Hollywood Park with a pulled muscle.

“It’s high on his back end and we don’t know how long it will take, but we’re not going to take a chance,” Walsh said. She said Georgie Boy would not require surgery.

“I don’t know how long he’ll be out, but Mr. Schwary is very patient, and we’ll give the horse all the time he needs and let him tell us when to come back. Maybe we’ll see him in the Pacific Classic,” Walsh said.

Schwary also was confident Georgie Boy would run again.

“He’s got some more races in him; down the line he’ll be back,” Schwary said. “Kathy said [the injury] is not as serious as it could be, and I’ve got too good a horse to take a chance with.”

Georgie Boy won both his starts this winter at Santa Anita in graded stakes, and would have vied for Santa Anita Derby favoritism with Colonel John on Saturday. Georgie Boy won two Grade 2 races this winter at Santa Anita – the San Felipe at a mile and a sixteenth, and the San Vicente at seven furlongs – and has won four of seven overall including the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. A gelding by Tribal Rule, Georgie Boy has earned $496,806.

The defection of Georgie Boy makes Grade 3 Sham Stakes winner Colonel John the likely favorite over El Gato Malo on Saturday in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

The injury is the latest in a string that has decimated the California-based 3-year-old division. These stakes winners are injured and off the Derby trail: Dixie Chatter (Norfolk Stakes), Crown of Thorns (San Felipe), Into Mischief (Hollywood Futurity), Nikki’sgoldensteed (Turf Paradise Derby), Autism Awareness (El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows) and Sierra Sunset (Rebel at Oaklawn Park).