Skips Work Out of Derby
9:25 AM Update: Eskendereya is out of the Kentucky Derby. “He’s got some filling. We’re not sure of the extent of what we’re dealing with. But he’s not going to run,” trainer Todd Pletcher said, describing the colt as “slightly off.” (Right: Pletcher, speaking to the media this morning at Churchill Downs. Photo credit: Reed Palmer Photography.)
What changes with this news? The filly Devil May Care seems more likely to enter, Jackson Bend has a real shot of making the field, and Lookin at Lucky takes over as expected post-time favorite.
10:00 AM: Bettors are already adjusting to Esky’s withdrawal: Eskendereya’s odds are drifting, Lookin at Lucky’s shortening (And at 11:00 AM, with Eskendereya out, Lookin at Lucky is 7-2, Sidney’s Candy 5-1.)
3:55 PM: Jennie Rees has reactions from Derby trainers: “My stomach right now hurts for them. I know what they’re going through. I know what Todd [Pletcher] is going through. You’re not safe until you put the saddle on and hear My Old Kentucky Home. ”
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No workout for Eskendereya this morning, and now the status of the likely Kentucky Derby favorite is uncertain.
On Saturday, Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reported there was evidence of “some issues” plaguing the colt:
Eskendereya had a workout planned for Saturday postponed because of wet weather, and while Eskendereya did have a routine gallop, there is at least circumstantial evidence that Pletcher is trying to nurse Eskendereya through some issues. After training hours on Saturday, every horse at Pletcher’s barn who was walking the shed row had their training bandages removed except for Eskendereya. This follows a postponed final prep, from the Florida Derby to the Wood Memorial two weeks later, and the addition of front bandages for the Wood Memorial.
Earlier this morning, there was some doubt about whether he would work today. From Ron Mitchell of the Blood-Horse:
Meanwhile, shortly after 6 a.m. Sunday, trainer Todd Pletcher said he was undecided about whether Derby favorite Eskendereya and Derby possible starter Interactif would breeze following the maintenance break.
“I am going to watch a couple of sets and see,” Pletcher said. “It’s pretty hard right now.”
Minutes ago, Ed DeRosa of Thoroughbred Times, at Churchill Downs, tweeted:
Eskendereya did not go to track. #KYDerby participation in serious doubt.