05/06/2009 12:00AM

I Want Revenge out till at least fall


The ligament injury suffered by I Want Revenge will keep him out at least until the Breeders' Cup but more likely until 2010, David Lanzman, the breeder and co-owner of I Want Revenge, said Wednesday.

"It all depends on how he responds," Lanzman said. "Best, best-case scenario, which we know never happens, is to have him back for the Breeders' Cup. But more likely, we're looking at a 2010 campaign."

I Want Revenge was scratched Saturday morning from the Kentucky Derby, in which he was the morning-line favorite. At the time, only a sore ankle was detected, but Lanzman and trainer Jeff Mullins erred on the side of caution and scratched him.

On Wednesday morning, Dr. Larry Bramlage, who is overseeing the care of I Want Revenge at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky., said I Want Revenge had ligament damage.

"The swelling below I Want Revenge's right front fetlock joint progressed from Saturday morning through the weekend," Bramlage said in a statement. "The ultrasound exam that was performed on May 3 showed changes in the middle distal sesamoidean ligaments [also known as oblique sesamoidean ligaments], which are the ligaments below and behind the fetlock joint that support the fetlock during high-speed exercise.

"An MRI conducted at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital on May 4th confirmed the injury to the middle distal sesamoidean ligaments. At this point, the injury is moderate in severity, and it is too early to predict a long-term prognosis or the effect on I Want Revenge's career. The single biggest determining factor on the long-term prognosis will be determined by the horse's response to therapy and how he progresses. This will be reassessed monthly."

Bramlage, in his statement, added, "The injury would have been much more severe if not for the decision to scratch the horse from the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Jeff Mullins and the owners should be commended for putting the health and welfare of the horse first."

Lanzman was upset at some comments on the Internet insinuating I Want Revenge was scratched because of more nefarious reasons.

"When you start reading that he was scratched because he couldn't pass a drug test, or hear that reporters from prominent publications were looking into things like that, it's upsetting, because it's just not true," Lanzman said. "I know one thing - we absolutely did the right thing by the horse."