07/12/2014 9:05AM

Uncle Sigh likely done for the year due to injury

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Tom Keyser
Uncle Sigh, the fifth-place finisher in the Wood Memorial, likely will miss the rest of his 3-year-old season due to a pulled muscle in his back.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Uncle Sigh, the runner-up in pair of graded stakes for 3-year-olds in the winter, likely will miss the remainder of the year after being diagnosed with a pulled muscle in his back, trainer Gary Contessa said Saturday morning.

Contessa said Uncle Sigh would be turned out at owner Chip McEwen’s farm in Ocala, Fla., for 60 days and hopefully come back to him at Belmont Park in the fall.

Uncle Sigh was scratched June 15 from the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park after getting cast in his stall at Belmont two days earlier. Contessa thought Uncle Sigh came out of that incident unscathed but noticed an issue in subsequent training. Earlier this week, Uncle Sigh was shipped to a clinic in New Jersey, where a scintigraphy showed the muscle pull.

“It lit up that muscle in the back. Everything else is clean,” Contessa said. “The good news is that’s all it was, and it’s easily fixed. The bad news is he’s going to miss his 3-year-old career. But [he’s] in better shape than a lot of 3-year-olds who are going to miss their whole career.”

Uncle Sigh, a New York-bred son of Indian Charlie, finished second to Samraat in the Wither and Gotham – both Grade 3 stakes run over Aqueduct’s inner track. Despite a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, Uncle Sigh still qualified for the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 14th after setting the early pace.