06/17/2013 12:04PM

Itsmyluckyday taken to medical center


Itsmyluckyday was taken to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in Ringoes, N.J., shortly before noon on Monday, where he will undergo further tests to determine the extent of any possible injury that compelled jockey Mike Smith to pull him up shortly after completing a half-mile of Sunday’s Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park.

According to trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., Itsmyluckyday was “in a little discomfort but not in any distress” on Monday morning. He said his horse was moving better by the time he walked onto the van than he had been earlier that morning, while showing symptoms that he called “typical of a slight crack someplace.”

Itsmyluckyday was sent up to engage the odds-on favorite, Verrazano, nearing the five furlong pole when he suddenly dropped back and was pulled up by Smith almost immediately thereafter. The Pegasus was Itsmy­luckyday’s first start since his second-place finish behind Oxbow in the Preakness.

With Itsmyluckyday, the 6-5 second choice, out of the race, Verrazano ultimately went on to record an easy victory in the Pegasus.

“When I first saw Mike pull the horse up I just thought I hope it’s nothing serious and that he’ll be okay,” said Plesa on Monday. “As soon as I got to him, I could see there was nothing catastrophic. We took a set of X-rays once getting him back to the barn, which came back negative. He’ll undergo a nuclear scan at the clinic tomorrow, and even if they do find something, I don’t believe it will be an injury that will be career-ending.”

Plesa praised Smith for his decision to pull Itsmyluckyday up quickly enough to prevent a potentially catastrophic result.

“I just want to commend Mike for the outstanding job he did getting the horse pulled up when he did,” said Plesa. “I’ve seen things like this happen before with an inexperienced rider, where you go from having a little problem to having a catastrophic problem. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and when you have a rider with Mike’s experience, those things don’t happen.”

Plesa was using the Pegasus as a prep for Monmouth Park’s marquee race, the Grade 1 Haskell, later this summer. Itsmyluckyday, a 3-year-old son of Lawyer Ron, won Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 Holy Bull and finished second in the Grade 1 Florida Derby before turning in a disappointing 15th-place finish over a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby. But he rebounded nicely off the poor effort to finish second, less than two lengths behind Oxbow, in the Preakness.

Itsmyluckyday is owned in partnership by Plesa’s wife, Laurie, and the Trilogy Stable.