09/20/2010 3:36PM

Pennsylvania Derby loses unbeaten Trickmeister

Barbara D. Livingston
Trickmeister was withdrawn from consideration for the Pennsylvania Derby after his connections noticed he seemed uncomfortable during a Monday morning workout.

Trickmeister, the undefeated 3-year-old who was targeting Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing, was not entered for that race after his connections were displeased with how the colt came out of a workout Monday morning.

Trickmeister worked five furlongs Monday morning in 1:02.67 over Aqueduct’s main track, but trainer Rick Dutrow was not happy with the way the horse was traveling behind and ultimately had him vanned over to the Ruffian Equine Medical Center across the street from Belmont Park where he was to undergo a bone scan.

“Something was definitely bothering him this morning and he’s too good of a horse to take a chance,” said Michael Iavarone, head of the IEAH Stables that purchased Trickmeister privately following his victory in the Barbaro Stakes. “We’re all sick about it.”

Trickmeister had won his first four starts, including an 11 1/4-length victory in the Pleasant Colony Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 27, a race in which he earned a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

Even without Trickmeister, the racing office had to scramble to get a seven-horse field for the Pennsylvania Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race traditionally run on Labor Day but moved to the end of September to get away from the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

The field drew four horses from the Travers, including First Dude (third in Travers), Afleet Again (fourth), A Little Warm (fifth), and Friend or Foe (sixth).

A Little Warm, who won the Jim Dandy Stakes, was a late entrant into the field. John Velazquez was named on both A Little Warm and Morning Line, a horse trained by Nick Zito who won a first-level allowance race at Saratoga by 11 lengths.

First Dude, who finished second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont, Haskell, and Travers, drew post 6 and will have Robby Albarado in the irons. Albarado replaces Ramon Dominguez.

The field, from the rail out, is: Exhi (Javier Castellano), Severe Weather (Rodrigo Madrigal), Afleet Again (Cornelio Velasquez), A Little Warm (Velazquez), Morning Line (Velazquez), First Dude (Albarado), and Friend or Foe (Alex Solis).

The Pennsylvania Derby will go as race 11 on a 12-race card that begins at 12:05 p.m. Eastern. The card also includes the $250,000 Turf Amazon, which drew a field of six, including Rose Catherine and West Ocean, a pair of fillies trained by Todd Pletcher.