02/11/2012 9:51AM

Gulfstream Park: Ever So Lucky scratched from Hutcheson due to wet conditions

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ever So Lucky's 3-year-old debut will have to wait. The March 10 Swale is one possibility.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Trainer Jonathan Sheppard said that a combination of a week’s worth of bad weather and the prospect of a wet track on race day prompted him to scratch his Kentucky Derby prospect Ever So Lucky from his much-anticipated 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s seven-furlong Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park.            

“He needed some good, strong gallops during the week especially after we gave him a conservative work because of the wet track at the beginning of the week,” Sheppard said at his barn during training hours Saturday.

Ever So Lucky, who is owned by George Strawbridge’s Augustin Stable, worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 with jockey Julien Leparoux aboard on Monday. He has not started since finishing second  in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November.

“He had a little issue and we had to back off him after his last race in Kentucky,” Sheppard said referring to some minor bone bruising. “Right now his legs are great but I had a long discussion with Mr. Strawbridge yesterday and we decided under the circumstances that we just didn’t want to take a chance.”

Sheppard said waiting for the Grade 2 Swale on March 10 would be one option for Ever So Lucky’s return.

“He’s got plenty of conditions left too so we’re just going to keep an open mind,” said Sheppard.

Ever So Lucky is an individual entry in this weekend's Kentucky Derby Future Wager. After Friday's first day of betting, he was 79-1.

Ever So Lucky’s withdrawal leaves a field of only five for the Grade 2 Hutcheson, topped by trainer Todd Pletcher’s undefeated Thunder Moccasin.