04/06/2008 12:00AM

War Pass cuts chin traveling to New York


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - War Pass, last year's juvenile champion and a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby, suffered a cut on his chin on the flight from south Florida to New York, but it will not impact his starting status for Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.

According to trainer Nick Zito, the landing of a Tex Sutton flight Thursday afternoon at Farmingdale Airport on Long Island was a bit bumpy and War Pass hit his head on a bar where he was standing, causing a small hole in his chin from where he was bleeding.

After War Pass vanned to Belmont Park from the airport, Dr. James Hunt inserted three staples to close the wound. On a damp, raw Friday morning, War Pass galloped in Zito's barn as opposed to going to the track and looked the picture of health as he walked the shed row Friday afternoon, nibbling at his hotwalker's hand.

"Does he look in peril to you?" Zito said when told about rumors regarding the colt's health. "He screamed for his food at 7 o'clock last night. He had a good night. I dare anyone who thinks he's in peril to try and get in the stall with him."

The prospect of a wet main track figures to only enhance War Pass's chances in the Wood. He won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile over a sloppy Monmouth Park strip last October.