05/16/2012 4:58PM

Premier Pegasus euthanized after injury

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Premier Pegasus was euthanized Wednesday after suffering a severe leg injury.

Premier Pegasus, a three-time stakes winner and Triple Crown contender in 2011, was euthanized Wednesday after suffering a severe leg injury at Santa Anita, owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho confirmed.

Premier Pegasus won 4 of 5 starts and $293,400. Unraced since March 2011, Premier Pegasus was training for a comeback when the injury occurred. Cho said that Premier Pegasus was training aggressively Wednesday when he was hurt.

“It’s sad,” he said. “He was galloping, and the rider said that he couldn’t hold him.”

A colt by Fusaichi Pegasus, Premier Pegasus won three stakes, most notably the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March 2011. The win left him as the morning-line favorite for the Santa Anita Derby until a hairline fracture of a cannon bone detected two days before the race led to his withdrawal.

Premier Pegasus later underwent surgery to stabilize the injured leg.