04/03/2009 11:00PM

The Pamplemousse scratched with tendon issue


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Pamplemousse, the morning-line favorite in Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, was scratched from the race Saturday morning after a confab between Dr. Jill Bailey, the track veterinarian, trainer Julio Canani, and Canani's vet, Dr. Helmuth von Bluecher.

According to Bailey, she noticed "a very subtle change in the horse" Saturday morning during a routine prerace exam that is required of all runners. Alex Solis II, a bloodstock agent and co-owner of The Pamplemousse, said The Pamplemousse had heat in a tendon in a front leg.

"I discussed it with Julio and his vet, and they agreed to scratch the horse," Bailey said.

Because The Pamplemousse was not scratched by the vet, he is not on the veterinarian's list. Instead, he is listed as a stakes scratch, and does not have to work for the vet in order to be eligible to race again.

However, The Pamplemousse will need further evaluation, both Bailey and Solis said.

"It was a problem I didn't want to see progress," Bailey said.

Solis said The Pamplemousse would have the tendon scanned on Sunday morning. "We'll compare it to the last time he was scanned, which was before the Sham," Solis said. The Pamplemousse won the Sham Stakes on Feb. 28. "We had to scratch today. We had to do the right thing by the horse. The tendon palpated sound, but it was warm."

Bailey is one of two vets who do the exams the morning of races at Santa Anita for the California Horse Racing Board. She said she had done the prerace exam on The Pamplemousse in several of his recent races.

"I'm very familiar with the horse," she said. "There was a change."

Those associated with The Pamplemousse have acknowledged in the past that he has odd-looking tendons on his front legs.

On Wednesday, Solis II said, "He has big tendons. He had them when we bought him."

Solis II put together the partnership that bought The Pamplemousse for $150,000 in Florida 13 months ago.

Alex Solis, the bloodstock agent's father, was scheduled to ride The Pamplemousse on Saturday. He wound up on Take the Points, who was entered by trainer Todd Pletcher in case either The Pamplemousse or Pioneerof the Nile scratched. Chris DeCarlo was named on Take the Points, but only to fill space because a rider must be named at entry time.