05/04/2009 11:00PM

Ulcer will keep Kelly Leak home


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Kelly Leak, who in his last start won the $800,000 Sunland Park Derby over future Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, will miss Saturday's Lone Star Derby, trainer Mike Machowsky said. Based in Southern California, the horse was to fly here later this week after turning in his final work Sunday, but plans changed Tuesday.

"This morning we tracked him, and he coughed a couple of times," Machowsky said. "We scoped him and found an ulcer on the tip of his epiglottis. It's not a big thing. He'll miss a week of training."

Machowsky said Kelly Leak would be treated, and then his next start will be determined.

"If he's training as good as he has been training, I'd like to point to the Haskell," Machowsky said of the Grade 1 race at Monmouth Park on Aug. 2. "What path I take to get there, I'm going to have to be creative."

Kelly Leak has won sprinting and on dirt and turf. Machowsky said Kelly Leak would be considered for the Grade 2 Jefferson Cup on turf and Grade 3 Northern Dancer on dirt, both at Churchill on June 13, and the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at seven furlongs at Belmont on June 6.

Big Drama, who also had been under consideration for the Lone Star Derby, left his Miami base on Tuesday morning headed for Maryland and a start in the Preakness, trainer David Fawkes said. The connections of Terrain, another candidate for the Lone Star Derby, on Tuesday were "leaning toward the Preakness," trainer Al Stall Jr. said.

Cape Truth set for Lone Star Derby

Cape Truth, a recent allowance winner at Hollywood Park, will start in the Grade 3, $400,000 Lone Star Derby, trainer Doug O'Neill said Tuesday. The 1 1/16-mile race will share a card Saturday with two $125,000 divisions of the Texas Stallion Stakes.

Cape Truth was prominent throughout to win an $80,000 optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles April 26, earning a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 90. He is a son of Cape Town and out of the same mare as Traces of Gold, a multiple Grade 3 winner who earned $664,672.

"He's a horse we had always been high on," O'Neill said of Cape Truth. "When he won an allowance at Hollywood Park not too long ago and came out of it in great shape, we thought this would be a great opportunity for him."

O'Neill said Michael Baze has the mount on Cape Town, who was scheduled to fly to Lone Star on Thursday. Horses from Kentucky are due to fly in Wednesday, including Mythical Power, who was second to Kelly Leak in the Sunland Park Derby. Others expected in by Lone Star officials include Galloping Gulch and Uno Mas.

Mine That Bird slept at Lone Star

"Mine That Bird slept here."

That's the kind of sign trainer Dallas Barton could attach to one of the stalls at his Lone Star stable. Last month, he hosted Mine That Bird as the horse was traveling from his New Mexico base to Churchill Downs to run in the Kentucky Derby. Barton is a friend of the horse's trainer, Chip Woolley.

"Chip had called me quite a ways out and asked if he could stay in my barn for the Lone Star Derby," Barton said. "Then he called me a week before they came and said they changed plans and were going to the Kentucky Derby. They just thought this would be a good place to layover. He just stayed the one night."

Mine That Bird jogged the next morning and continued his now historic trip to Churchill.