04/08/2011 2:51PM

Santa Anita: Jaycito battling foot bruise

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Barbara D. Livingston
A bruised foot will keep Jaycito from starting in the Kentucky Derby.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The participation of Jaycito in Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Derby was cast in doubt on Friday when trainer Bob Baffert said the colt is battling the lingering effects of a bruise in his right front foot.

Baffert said that a decision on whether Jaycito will start in the Santa Anita Derby will be made on race morning. Jaycito inherited the role of morning-line favorite when Premier Pegasus was withdrawn on Thursday because of a hairline fracture in the cannon bone of his left foreleg.

Baffert said an abscess was diagnosed in Jaycito's foot after a workout at Hollywood Park on March 22, and that the foot has been tender in recent days.

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"I've been battling it for the last 10 days," Baffert said Friday. "It's healing, but it's still bugging him a little bit.

"I'm not going to make the call until tomorrow morning. If it's still tender, I'll skip. It would heal if he stayed away from the track a few days, but I don't have that luxury. I thought we had it under control."

Baffert said that if Jaycito misses the Santa Anita Derby that a start in the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 23 is a possibility.

"Right now, if I skip this, I can't work him," Baffert said. "It needs a few days of non-aggravation."

Owned by Zayat Stables, Jaycito has one victory in five starts, the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park last fall when trained by Mike Mitchell. Jaycito joined Baffert's stable after a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November. In his lone start for Bafferrt, Jaycito was second to Premier Pegasus in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 12.

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