07/08/2009 11:00PM

Indian Blessing drops out of Princess Rooney


MIAMI - Reigning Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing did not make the trip from California for the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap and will be scratched from the Grade 1 race, which highlights Saturday's Summit of Speed program at Calder.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Indian Blessing couldn't have been doing better but withheld his star from the Princess Rooney to avoid a potential issue with the postrace testing in the event that she won the race.

"After her last race she had a hind leg infection which we treated with antibiotics," Baffert said. "When that didn't work we gave her penicillin for a few days. Penicillin has procaine in it, so we tested her Monday and again Wednesday and my vet felt, after talking to the state lab in Florida, that she could be too close to the threshold levels allowed in Florida to take a chance."

Indian Blessing would have been favored against eight other fillies and mares to win the Princess Rooney, the only Grade 1 race on the Calder stakes schedule. The 4-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie is coming off the worst performance of her career, a fourth-place finish as the 1-2 favorite in Hollywood Park's Desert Stormer on June 14. Indian Blessing finished second behind Big City Man, who died last weekend of a stomach ailment, in the Dubai Golden Shaheen in her only other start this season.

"It's really too bad she can't come because she's doing so well," said Baffert. "This really would have been a perfect spot for her. But I don't want to go all the way down, have her win, and then lose the pot and go through the same kind of process as the poor Wait a While people had to go through here in California over the same issue with penicillin and procaine."

Baffert said he has nothing picked out for Indian Blessing's next start. Her primary goal at the moment remains the Grade 1 Ballerina later this summer at Saratoga.

Baffert will still be represented on the Summit of Speed card by likely favorite Underground in the Grade 3 Azalea and Wall Street Wonder in the Grade 2 Carry Back. Mike Smith, who was scheduled to ride all three Baffert runners on Saturday at Calder, decided to remain on the West Coast and accept mounts on Saturday's program at Hollywood Park once learning that Indian Blessing would not compete.