08/08/2011 2:48PM

Saratoga: Morning Line to get break, examination

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Barbara D. Livingston
Morning Line will be sent to owner Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm this week for a break.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Morning Line, the Grade 1 Carter winner who finished last in Saturday’s Whitney Invitational Handicap, will be sent to owner Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm this week for a break, trainer Nick Zito said Monday. Zito also said that it is likely that Dr. Larry Bramlage, of the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Versailles, Ky., would likely examine the horse.

“He’s just not the same horse,” said Zito, who noted that preliminary X-rays taken on Morning Line did not reveal any physical issues.

Following the Carter, Zito planned to train Morning Line up to the Metropolitan Handicap but missed the race due to a foot problem. He ran in the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth on July 4, but finished fifth. Zito didn’t think fitness would be a problem going into the Whitney, but the horse gave way after dueling with Friend Or Foe on the lead for six furlongs.

“I got sidetracked by the foot issue at Churchill Downs Derby week,” Zito said. “I did a half-ass training job, terrible. I hate to say it, but I’m embarrassed.”

Morning Line did register five consecutive triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, beginning with his Pennsylvania Derby last September through his Carter victory in April.