03/25/2011 1:47PM

Riveting Reason off the Kentucky Derby trail

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Benoit & Associates
Riveting Reason finished second to Anthony's Cross in the Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Riveting Reason, second in the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes in February in his most recent start, has been turned out for the spring with a hoof injury, according to Maria Ayala, assistant to owner-trainer Myung Kwon Cho.

Riveting Reason was turned out to a local farm in mid-March and is expected to miss two or three months of training, Ayala said Friday. Riveting Reason has had one workout since the Lewis, over five furlongs at Santa Anita on March 5.

“Mr. Cho said it’s better to wait,” Ayala said.

The absence of Riveting Reason affects the rankings of 3-year-olds with graded stakes earnings, the method used to determine the Kentucky Derby field if more than 20 horses are entered. Through Friday, Riveting Reason ranked 20th with $147,500, although that list will change greatly in coming weeks with numerous prep races still to be run.

By Fusaichi Pegasus, Riveting Reason has one victory in nine starts but was third in two Grade 1 stakes last year – the Del Mar Futurity and Norfolk Stakes. In the Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles, Riveting Reason finished a nose behind Anthony’s Cross.

KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail

Cho still has a major contender for the Kentucky Derby, and more immediately the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9, in Premier Pegasus, winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 12. Ayala said that Premier Pegasus will work in coming days for the Santa Anita Derby, where he will be ridden by Alonso Quinonez.

With a little less than two weeks remaining for the Santa Anita Derby, the race does not have a large field of prospects. The other candidates include Anthony’ s Cross, Bench Points, Comma to the Top, Indian Winter, Mr. Commons, Offlee Wild Boys, and Silver Medallion.

Trainer Bob Baffert may have a starter, but has yet to finalize plans for Jaycito, a candidate for the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9, or The Factor, who could run in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 16.

The buildup to the Kentucky Derby will not include Clubhouse Ride, who was sidelined in February with a hairline fracture of his right ankle. Trainer Craig Lewis said X-rays taken earlier this month did not show sufficient healing for Clubhouse Ride to resume training.

“There is no point in pressing on,” he said. “We’ll probably X-ray him in about 30 days, and if it looks good we’ll bring him back.”