03/20/2007 11:00PM

Ravel injured and off Derby trail


Ravel, who won last month's Sham Stakes at Santa Anita and would have been one of the leading contenders in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 7, is out of that race and off the trail for the May 5 Kentucky Derby after developing what appears to be the beginnings of a fracture in his left front cannon bone, trainer Todd Pletcher said Wednesday morning.

According to Pletcher, Ravel first was "a little off in his left front" over the weekend. Subsequent X-rays failed to find a problem, but when Ravel was examined via nuclear scintigraphy, "it lit up his left front cannon bone," Pletcher said.

"We can't find anything on the X-rays, but the feeling, based on the nuclear scintigraphy, is that he's starting to develop a fracture, and it would turn into a condylar fracture if we breezed him," Pletcher said from Florida. "It's a tough blow. He's obviously a talented horse, but it wasn't meant to be."

Pletcher said Ravel likely would be out of training for three months, and then point for a fall campaign, but said it was hard to pinpoint the length of his recovery due to the lack of specificity regarding the injury.

"It's rest and no surgery at this point," Pletcher said.

Ravel is owned by Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor.

With Ravel out, Pletcher said that Santa Anita Oaks winner Rags to Riches is possible for the Santa Anita Derby.

"She'll either run there or in the Ashland at Keeneland on April 7, or just train up to the Kentucky Oaks. I won't make a decision on that until next week," Pletcher said.