06/24/2007 11:00PM

Scat Daddy injured, retired

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ELMONT, N.Y. – Scat Daddy, a Grade 1 stakes winner at 2 and 3, has been retired from racing due to a tendon injury in his right foreleg, trainer Todd Pletcher announced on Monday.

The horse was scheduled to leave by van on Tuesday for Ashford Stud in Lexington, Ky., where he will most likely stand stud next year. No stud plans had been finalized as of Monday.

Pletcher believes the genesis of the injury happened in the Kentucky Derby when Scat Daddy finished 18th, 38 1/2 lengths behind Street Sense. Scat Daddy came out of that race with several scrapes and cuts. Scat Daddy did heal up well enough to return to the work tab, breezing four furlongs in 48.40 seconds on June 10, but the tendon issue flared up again.

"Our vets told us he would need 90 days rest, so we would have run out of time to get him back for the major races this year, and the decision was made to retire him to stud,'' Pletcher said.

Scat Daddy, a son of Johannesburg owned by James Scatuorchio, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, won 5 races from 9 starts, including the Champagne at 2 and the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby at 3, and earned $1,334,300.

Initially, Scatuorchio owned Scat Daddy with Pletcher and Pletcher's father, Jake. But the Pletchers sold their half-interest in the horse to Tabor prior to the Champagne. Tabor sold part-interest to Derrick Smith earlier this year.

Scat Daddy's three-quarter-length victory in the Champagne typified his grind-it-out style. He won the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth by a nose over Stormello and last year won the Grade 2 Sanford by a neck over Teuflesberg, a race in which he looked beaten in midstretch.

"From his very first works, Scat Daddy showed us he was a horse of the highest class,'' Pletcher said. "He had great tactical speed and a marvelous will to win.''