02/10/2015 3:45PM

Texas Red sidelined with abscess

Shigeki Kikkawa
Texas Red will miss the Risen Star due to an abscess on his right front foot.

Texas Red, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last November and a leading contender for the 2015 Triple Crown, was diagnosed with an abscess in his right front foot in the last week and will not train at Santa Anita for the remainder of February, trainer Keith Desormeaux said on Tuesday.

Desormeaux said that Texas Red left Santa Anita on Tuesday morning after training and was sent to a California farm where he will be treated for the abscess while swimming to maintain fitness.

Texas Red finished second to Lord Nelson in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 1, his first start since the BC Juvenile. The setback eliminates plans to start Texas Red in the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 21, and has left Desormeaux tentatively planning a start for the colt in one of two $1 million races at 1 1/8 miles in early April – the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 or the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 11.

“He’s got an abscess in his foot,” Desormeaux said. “He trained for the first few days after the race and we detected some heat in the foot. I’ll have to back off for awhile. We think to maintain fitness we’re going to send him where he can aqua-tred.

“We’ll leave him there for two weeks and let it drain. This is not a long-term problem.”

Desormeaux said his “heart sank” after he noticed that Texas Red was not traveling well while training in the days after the San Vicente Stakes. He emphasized a stakes appearance in April could put Texas Red back on schedule for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2.

“He did have a solid foundation of races as a 2-year-old,” he said. “Missing two or three weeks will not affect his fitness level in anticipation of the Derby. I would start to worry if I couldn’t get a race into him.

“I’ll put a positive spin on it. Right now, it’s not a major concern.”

Texas Red has won 2 of 6 starts and earned $1,232,300 for a partnership that includes Erich Brehm, Wayne Detmar, Lee Michaels, and Desormeaux.