Updated on 09/15/2011 12:32PM

Monarchos fractures knee

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Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos will be sidelined indefinitely due to a fractured knee.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Monarchos, the Kentucky Derby winner, suffered a hairline fracture of the third carpal bone in his right knee and will be sidelined indefinitely.

While his connections are hoping that Monarchos will return to the races this fall, he will miss the Jim Dandy and the Travers this August at Saratoga.

Trainer John Ward issued a press release Thursday afternoon that said the prognosis for Monarchos to return to the races "is excellent after 60 days rest. No surgery is required."

Reached by phone, Ward said a return by Monarchos this year "will depend on how things go. We'll re-X-ray it three weeks and take another look. The part of it that is kind of interesting is that it is so minute you have to have confidence that you're doing the same exact shot."

Ward said he was prompted to take X-rays on Monday morning after Monarchos "really reacted" to being re-shod on his right side. Ward said it took two sets of X-rays and the expert eye of Dr. Larry Bramlage to confirm the fracture.

"This crack is so minute you have to use your imagination to find it on three X-rays," Ward said. "It hasn't even come to the end of the bone."

At the Wards' Belmont Park barn Thursday afternoon, Donna Ward said it was fortunate the injury was detected early "because he was getting ready to get back into serious training. Then it might have developed into something else."

Monarchos was hand-walked around the shed Wednesday and Thursday morning and will continue to do so for the next several weeks.

After winning the Derby, Monarchos finished sixth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes behind Point Given.

Recently, Monarchos grabbed a quarter while playing in a round pen. Following a June 25 gallop, the muscles in Monarchos's left hind leg tightened up, forcing his exercise rider to dismount.