04/05/2013 1:31PM

Santa Anita: Hear the Ghost to get four-month break

Barbara D. Livingston
A gelding by Ghostzapper, Hear the Ghost has won 2 of 3 starts and $222,400

ARCADIA, Calif. – Hear the Ghost, who was scratched from Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on Thursday because of an injury detected in a knee, will be rested for four months before he returns to training, trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer said Friday.

Hollendorfer stressed that Hear the Ghost’s injury was minor and would not require surgery, but said the timing eliminates a spring campaign, including the Triple Crown races.

“He’s not seriously injured,” Hollendorfer said. “He had a problem in his knee that needs some time to heal. I’m looking to the future of Hear the Ghost. We think with some time off, and giving him a chance, we think he can be 100 percent later.

“That’s the way we want to do things. If you look at the long term, it might be better that way.”

Hollendorfer described the injury as “line in his knee that has the potential to do something if we continue on.”

The injury was detected at Hollendorfer’s barn at Betfair Hollywood Park on Thursday morning and announced early Thursday afternoon after X-rays were taken.

“When we had him out to jog him, he jogged a little off,” Hollendorfer said. “We took some new pictures, and that’s when we found it.”

Hear the Ghost is co-owned by Hollendorfer and Ted Aroney. The colt was considered the second choice in the betting for the Santa Anita Derby on the strength of his win in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes here March 9. Flashback, second in the San Felipe and the winner of the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes in February, was the morning-line favorite for the Santa Anita Derby.

The Santa Anita Derby was intended to be Hear the Ghost’s final start before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4.

The absence of Hear the Ghost is the latest blow to Hollendorfer’s Kentucky Derby hopes. In 1998, Event of the Year missed the Kentucky Derby after sustaining an injury in the days before the race. Two years later, Hollendorfer’s Globalize was sidelined in the days before the race after being kicked by a pony during morning training. Both had won major stakes leading to the Kentucky Derby.

A gelding by Ghostzapper, Hear the Ghost has won 2 of 3 starts and $222,400. He beat maidens in his debut at Hollywood Park in December and was second in the San Pedro Stakes for sprinters in January before winning the San Felipe Stakes.

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