05/31/2017 3:06PM

Injury to keep Connect out of Met Mile

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Susie Raisher/NYRA
Connect will miss the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap due to an injury.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Connect, who most likely would have been favored, will miss the Grade 1, $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 10 with an injury, trainer Chad Brown said Wednesday afternoon.

“Connect has unfortunately emerged from his last workout with a minor injury that will keep him out of the Met Mile,” Brown said. “We are currently doing further diagnostics on the colt to determine his racing future.”

Connect’s most recent workout was a half-mile in 49.20 seconds over the Belmont Park main track on May 21. He had been scheduled to work last weekend, but didn’t.

Connect, a 4-year-old son of Curlin, emerged as a potential star last year by winning the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing and Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct to end a 3-year-old campaign in which he went 5 for 6. His lone loss came when he finished sixth to Arrogate in the Travers and emerged from the race with a lung infection.

Connect began his 4-year-old season with a dominant 4 3/4-length victory in the Grade 3 Westchester at Belmont on May 6.

Connect is owned by Paul Pompa Jr., who is enjoying a sensational meet with 8 wins and 3 seconds from 11 starters. Pompa will still have two runners in the Met Mile in Rally Cry and Tommy Macho, both trained by Todd Pletcher.

Brown will still have a starter in the Met Mile in Economic Model, owned by Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence.

Another horse who will miss the Met Mile is Imperative, winner of the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in his most recent start. Part-owner Ron Paolucci said via text that the horse developed an issue during training Tuesday at The Thoroughbred Center in Kentucky and would be relegated to hand-walking for the next 90 days.

Paolucci said he hopes Imperative could make it back to the races later this year and have one start before trying to run in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream next Jan. 27.

Favoritism for the Met Mile will likely be between Mor Spirit, winner of the Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star on May 7, and Sharp Azteca, beaten a length in the Godolphin Mile in Dubai on March 28.

Others pointing to the race include Awesome Slew, Denman’s Call, Inside Straight, Mohaymen, Seymourdini, Solid Wager, and Tom’s Ready.