11/26/2009 12:00AM

Swift Temper out of Falls City

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Swift Temper was scratched this morning from the Thanksgiving Day feature at Churchill Downs, the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap, further depleting what already had been a thin race and leaving Unbridled Belle a huge favorite.

Mark Stanley, owner of Swift Temper, said the 5-year-old mare had been diagnosed with a fractured splint bone and "most likely" will be retired. "It's a shame, because we were all really looking forward to seeing her go out the right way today," said Stanley.

Splint injuries are not devastating ones, and trainer Dale Romans said Swift Temper could even race again in a matter of a few months.

Swift Temper, by Giant's Causeway, has won 6 of 31 career starts and earned $1,296,688, more than $1 million of it in 2009, when she won the Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap and Grade 2 Delaware Handicap.

Stanley, a Lexington, Ky., businessman, said he suspects Swift Temper might have incurred her injury when finishing sixth in her last race, the Nov. 7 Chilukki Stakes.

"At least that would help explain why she ran like she did," said Stanley.

The defection of Swift Temper as the 122-pound co-highweight and 5-2 morning-line second choice leaves the $150,000 Falls City with just five starters. Unbridled Belle, with 122 pounds, now figures as an odds-on choice for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Ramon Dominguez when she makes the final start of her career in the 1 1/8-mile Falls City, the 11th of 12 races today at Churchill.