05/12/2010 12:00AM

Hurricane Ike drops out of Preakness

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BALTIMORE - Hurricane Ike has been withdrawn from consideration for the 135th Preakness at Pimlico on Saturday, trainer John Sadler said Wednesday morning from California. His defection reduces the prospective Preakness field to 12, headed by Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.

Sadler said Hurricane Ike, who has trained in recent weeks at Churchill Downs, did not get on the charter flight that was scheduled to depart Louisville for Baltimore because he has "hind end lameness. He came up off behind this morning, and Dr. [Ken] Reed called me early this morning to give me the details. It's horribly disappointing to all of us."

Hurricane Ike, owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, won the April 24 Derby Trial in his last start at Churchill and figured as a middling wagering choice in the Preakness.

Sadler, who has never started a horse in the Preakness, said Hurricane Ike "did this once before at Oak Tree, so we're hoping it's not a big deal. We'll bring him out here and put him through some diagnostic testing to see what's wrong. In the meantime, it's black-and-white that he can't run Saturday, so it's a big letdown for all of us."