Updated on 09/16/2011 8:09AM

Val Royal retires with tendon injury


ARCADIA, Calif. - Val Royal, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park last October, has been retired after the recurrence of a tendon injury, trainer Julio Canani on Wednesday.

Canani said the injury was detected following Val Royal's disappointing fifth-place finish in the $2 million Dubai Duty Free in the Middle East on March 23.

"He's got a new lesion on top of the old one," Canani said. "He came out of Dubai good and he was fine, but these things don't pop up right away. You have to scan him."

In September 1999, Val Royal was found to have an injury to the tendon in his left foreleg after winning the Del Mar Derby. After an 18-month break, he made four more starts in his career, including wins in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile and the Breeders' Cup Mile, both last October.

Owned by television producer David Milch, Val Royal finished his career with seven wins in 12 starts and earnings of $1,186,444.

Bred in France, the 6-year-old Val Royal won three stakes there as a 3-year-old before being acquired privately by Milch. Stud plans are being discussed, Canani said.

Hollendorfer thinking Derby

, who finished fifth in the Santa Anita Derby last Saturday, is being considered for the Kentucky Derby on May 4, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Wednesday.

Hollendorfer plans to train U S S Tinosa for a few days and watch this weekend's important preps across the country before finalizing a decision.

"I haven't totally given up on the Derby," Hollendorfer said. "I know that I'm being hard-headed about things, but this is an unusual year."

Owned by Peter Abruzzo and Barry Thiriot, U S S Tinosa has won 4 of 11 starts and $255,259. He won the restricted Sham Stakes in February at Santa Anita and returned to finish second to Medaglia d'Oro in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 17.

In the Santa Anita Derby, U S S Tinosa was squeezed at the start and steadied in the first turn, trouble that jockey Kent Desormeaux felt compromised his chances.

"He thinks we had a lot of trouble and I agree," Hollendorfer said.

Santa Anita Derby trio eyes Kentucky

The first three finishers of the Santa Anita Derby - Came Home, Easy Grades and Lusty Latin - will leave for Churchill Downs at different times in the next few weeks.

Trainer Paco Gonzalez said he has not finalized plans for Came Home, who jogged on Wednesday, his first day back to track. Came Home had a slight temperature at the beginning of the week, but it had subsided by Tuesday.

Gonzalez is considering giving Came Home one workout at Santa Anita before leaving for Kentucky.

Easy Grades leaves on Sunday, according to trainer Ted West. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, will oversee the colt's training next week - and that his son, Ted H. West, the trainer of record, will travel to Kentucky the following week. Both training Wests will be in Kentucky during race week.

"That way we don't get the trainers burned out," the elder West said. "He came out of the race perfect."

Easy Grades was ridden in the Santa Anita Derby by Gary Stevens, who rides Sunday Break in Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. A decision on Stevens's Kentucky Derby mount will come after that race.

"Gary Stevens asked if he could wait until he rides Sunday Break," West said. "I'm comfortable with that. I know there will be more good riders than there are good horses."

Lusty Latin, the longest shot in the Santa Anita Derby field at 47-1, is scheduled to work at Santa Anita on Monday and leave for Kentucky next week, trainer Jeff Mullins said.

Top local jockeys hit the road

The major Kentucky Derby preps on Saturday will deplete the local jockey roster. Missing from Saturday's card will be 7 of the top 10 jockeys - Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux, David Flores, Chris McCarron, Laffit Pincay Jr., Mike Smith, and Patrick Valenzuela. Corey Nakatani, Chance Rollins, and Stevens are also traveling.

Flores is traveling to the Middle East to ride Tempera, the 2001 champion 2-year-old filly, in the UAE Oaks, a prep the Kentucky Oaks.

Alex Solis, who leads all riders here with 69 wins, is staying home, as are fellow top 10 riders Victor Espinoza and Jose Valdivia Jr. Solis has essentially clinched the riding title. He is six wins clear of Desormeaux, who is riding at Keeneland and Aqueduct this week.

Charity dinner raises $70,000

A charity dinner honoring veterinarian Jack Robbins on Monday raised approximately $70,000 for the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation.

The Foundation is organized by the California Thoroughbred Trainers. Proceeds are used to support a variety of backstretch programs, including college scholarships for children of backstretch workers.