07/06/2012 3:11PM

Turallure sidelined indefinitely by injury

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Barbara D. Livingston
Though injured, Turallure is expected to race again.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Turallure, the beaten favorite in three major turf races this year, will be getting at least 60 days off after apparent bone bruising was diagnosed and will miss the upcoming Saratoga meet, if not the rest of the year, trainer Charlie Lopresti said early Friday from his Keeneland base.

Turallure, owned by the Four D Stables of Donna Arnold, was second in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 in April at Keeneland, then seventh in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs, and fourth in the Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap last weekend on closing day of the Churchill spring meet. He was the wagering favorite in all three, including the 7-10 choice in the Firecracker.

“I’ve been scratching my head about why he hasn’t run as well as we know he can,” said Lopresti, adding that noted veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage had taken “a bone scan, and sure enough he lit up in a lot of spots, including the ends of all his cannon bones and his stifles.”

The bone scan is a veterinary procedure known in more technical terms as nuclear scintigraphy and can detect internal bruising or other abnormalities that might otherwise go undiagnosed. In one of the more well-known recent examples, similar bruising of the cannon bones was diagnosed for Super Saver after he went off form following his victory in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.

Lopresti added that Turallure will need “at least 60 days off at my farm,” Forest Lane Farm, located just east of Lexington. “He needs time to just take it easy and catch up. This definitely is not career-ending, and if we don’t have him back for something like the Shadwell Mile at Keeneland in the fall, hopefully we’ll have him back in top shape for the big grass races next spring.”

Turallure, a 5-year-old gray horse by Wando, earned more than $1.15 million in 2011 when winning three stakes, including the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, and finishing a very close second to Court Vision in the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill. In all, he has 6 wins from 19 starts and earnings of nearly $1.35 million.

Lopresti had hoped to run Turallure at Saratoga in the Fourstardave, set for Aug. 11, and the Bernard Baruch, which Turallure won last year. Lopresti said he still will be heading to Saratoga with a small string that includes his two other stable stars, Wise Dan and Successful Dan, both of whom could start in the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 4.

Casse runners among those on the move

Among the trainers shipping all their horses out of Churchill in the coming days is Mark Casse, who said his better runners will leave for Saratoga while the balance will be consolidated back to his main base at Woodbine. Casse’s son, Norman, was here the entire meet to oversee the local string and will move to Saratoga.

“The horses not good enough to run at Saratoga will come back here,” Mark Casse said this week from Canada. “It’s about a seven-hour van ride between here and Saratoga, so we’ll be shuttling horses back and forth. It works for us.”

Typical of the summer months, the stable-area population at Churchill thins out noticeably as horses move to Saratoga, Arlington, Ellis Park, and elsewhere.

Castanon scores on return

Jesus Castanon had a terrific first day back at work, winning with his only mount Wednesday, opening day of the 29-day meet at Ellis in Henderson, Ky. Castanon came from far back aboard Winds of Dubai, a 1 3/4-length winner of the sixth race at nearly 11-1. Castanon, 39, had been away since suffering a hand fracture in a May 18 spill on the Churchill turf. The injury occurred almost a year to the day after he scored his greatest career win aboard Shackleford in the 2011 Preakness.

Valerius the one to beat

The nominal feature Sunday at Ellis is the lone allowance on a nine-race program, a $35,000, second-level race set for a mile on the dirt. A field of 11 3-year-olds and upward, including a Tom Amoss stable coupling, was entered. Valerius, part of that entry, looks like the horse to beat in a well-matched group, having been claimed by Maggi Moss from a six-length victory in a $25,000 claiming route at Churchill.

One-mile races on the Ellis main track are run out of the chute adjacent to the clubhouse past the finish line.

First post daily at Ellis is 12:50 p.m. Central.

◗ Among the recent workers on one of the blazing-hot mornings at Churchill was Tapitsfly, the speedy gray mare who won the Grade 1 Just A Game on the June 9 Belmont Stakes undercard in her last start. In her second workout since, Tapitsfly breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the main track Wednesday.

Trainer Dale Romans chose not to run Tapitsfly against males in the Firecracker after briefly flirting with the idea and has opted to wait instead for the Grade 1 Diana on July 28 at Saratoga.

◗ With Ellis afforded sparse coverage on either of the two racing television networks, the track has made live action and replays available to fans through its website. To watch, go to ellisparkracing.com and click on “Live Racing.”