03/17/2015 10:40AM

Texas Red off Derby trail with foot abscess

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Texas Red finished second in the San Vicente, his only start this year.

Texas Red has been declared off the Kentucky Derby trail because of a lingering issue with a foot abscess, trainer Keith Desormeaux said Tuesday from Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

A 6 1/2-length winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall at Santa Anita, Texas Red finished second by a neck in his only start this year, the Feb. 1 San Vicente. Shortly thereafter, the 3-year-old colt came up with the problem in his right front hoof and was shipped to a local farm to heal. He returned to Santa Anita after several weeks and had his first workout Saturday when breezing a half-mile in 51.40 seconds.

Desormeaux had been hoping to make the April 4 Santa Anita Derby or the April 11 Arkansas Derby as a final prep toward the 141st Kentucky Derby on May 2 at Churchill Downs. His defection does not come as a huge surprise, given the tight time frame with which Desormeaux was working because of the nagging injury.

“We’ve been dealing with this for quite a while now,” said Desormeaux, who in a 24-year training career has never had a Kentucky Derby starter. “While this may be a moment of frustration, there’s no real disappointment in comparison to what the horse already has accomplished for us. He’s done so much good for us already.”

Texas Red, a Kentucky-bred by Afleet Alex, was 13-1 in his spectacular Juvenile victory and was a divisional finalist for a 2014 Eclipse Award when losing a close vote to American Pharoah. He is owned by the four-way partnership of Desormeaux, Eric Brehm, Lee Michaels, and Gene Voss.

Desormeaux said the decision to announce that the colt was off the Derby trail came after the colt trained Monday at Santa Anita.

“He wasn’t 100 percent limber in his first day of training after the work,” he said. “It just became a situation where we knew he shouldn’t be pushed. It’s not right.”

Desormeaux said no decision has been made about whether to try to make other important 3-year-old races.

“We’ll have the vet do a full work-up this week and figure out if anything major is wrong,” he said. “The horse doesn’t necessarily have to be turned out. I might just keep him here under my wing. We’ll have him looked over and make some decisions from there.”

Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, the trainer’s younger brother, was the regular rider of Texas Red but still has a Derby hopeful in Prospect Park. Kent Desormeaux has won the Derby three times.

Texas Red was a separate betting interest in each of the three futures pools offered so far by Churchill Downs toward the 2015 Derby. Starting with Pool 1, his odds were 14-1, 9-1, and 14-1. He had 12 points toward eligibility into the Derby field.

The defection of Texas Red means another Derby will pass without the BC Juvenile winner. Only one winner in the 31-year history of the Juvenile, Street Sense, has won the Derby, having pulled the double in 2006-07.

Robert Martinez More than 1 year ago
Now the Derby is for American Pharaoh to lose
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
The BC Juvy was no fluke, this colt was quite possibly the only real threat to Bafftert's charges. The only way I can see one or the other not winning is if they duel each other into the ground, how absurd would that be? Yet, it's not farfetched. They have nearly identical running styles. Dortmund literally has to be near the front because of his size and AP is not exactly on the small side, either.
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
One can only hope
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
test
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
The BC Juvy was no fluke, this colt was quite possibly the only real threat to Bafftert's charges. The only way I can see one or the other not winning is if they duel each other into the ground, how odd would that be? Yet, it's not farfetched. They have nearly identical running styles. Dortmund literally has to be near the front because of his size and AP is not exactly on the small side, either. The one chink in the armor is the distance questions, but I noticed in the futures PPs that only one entrant had a Tomilson figure above 300 for the mile and a quarter distance, Firing Line out of Line of David, of all sires. The distance is always the separating factor, but usually there are breeding indications which point to a subset.
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
The BC Juvy was no fluke, this colt was quite possibly the only real threat to Bafftert's charges. The only way I can see one or the other not winning is if they duel each other into the ground, how absurd would that be? Yet, it's not farfetched. They have nearly identical running styles. Dortmund literally has to be near the front because of his size and AP is not exactly on the small side, either. The one chink in the armor is the distance questions, but I noticed in the futures PPs that only one entrant had a Tomilson figure above 300 for the mile and a quarter distance, Firing Line out of Line of David, of all sires. The distance is always the separating factor, but usually there are breeding indications which point to a subset. Could be the X factor in this derby.
mrbascum More than 1 year ago
There's always next year
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
I don't understand how anyone can pick their Derby horse before they see the Derby PPs.
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Bottom line Mike you are 100% correct. I fully admit I do throw in my opinion readily on who I'm liking for the Derby early on as well. It's Dortmund by the way. But, I fully reserve my actual final opinion, selection and wager for the day of the race. For sure, post position, where the speed is, track bias, condition and such make a huge difference. Post position, of course, is huge.....depending on who's around who and such. Anyway, I think the conversation if fun and fun to have my favorites, just for conversation. But, I agree with you.....best to wait until after entries for sure.
Mike Rehak More than 1 year ago
So, by your logic, there should be no future book?
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing to hear for the Desormeaux brothers and the connections, but IMO I believe they knew T.R. had no shot at getting the roses, they might run in the money but not get the W. Best to save the horse for races down the road and have some fun and make a few dollars along the way. Wise decision
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
The funny thing is, and I wish this horse well, that some people actually bet him at 9-1 in an early pool. One should never, ever, ever wager on a future that early unless you are getting at least 27-1, or the nag's name is Giacomo. Vince P
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
So true Vince. Years ago, I think the year Lil E Tee won the Derby, the future betting for the Kentucky Derby was a newer type of bet. So, after watching Pistols and Roses run a good race in the Fountain of Youth, I bet 20 on him in the future wagering and got 10/1. Here's how I was cured of this wager to never bet it again. P and R ran well in the Florida Derby and did make it in the starting gate on Derby Day. What killed me is he went off at HIGHER odds the day of the Derby than I had gotten on him way earlier. LOL. Not to mention, he got his butt kicked. LOL. All I can say is lesson learned. Horrible take out. Horrible bet.
joe d More than 1 year ago
you know whats funny? everyone who is ranting or crying about these really good horses, going by the wayside before the derby, will forget about them in a week!!!!
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
Perhaps you will, but my attention span is longer... ;-)