02/26/2005 1:00AM

Harlington wrenches an ankle


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Todd Pletcher has taken Harlington off the Kentucky Derby trail after the regally bred son of Unbridled came out of the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds with a wrenched ankle.

"X-rays were negative, but he's such a big, young horse we decided just to back off him, send him to the farm for 45 days, and then bring him back and point for the Travers," said Pletcher.

Harlington, purchased for $2.8 million for the Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. out of the 2003 Keeneland September sale, won his first two career starts, including a three-length allowance victory over a sloppy track at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 15. Harlington was sent off the 6-5 favorite in the Feb. 12 Risen Star but was hung wide after breaking from post 10 and finished sixth, three lengths behind race winner Scipion.

Harlington was one of several Kentucky Derby prospects currently in Pletcher's barn, along with Bandini and Proud Accolade. Harlington had been a potential candidate for Saturday's Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. He closed as the 19-1 seventh choice in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager in February.