Belmont Stakes hopeful Intense Holiday breaks down in workout

Exercise rider Isabelle Bourez takes Kentucky Derby entrant Exercise rider Isabelle Bourez takes Kentucky Derby entrant Intense Holiday for a morning workout during a morning workout at Churchill Downs Friday, May 2, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel

advertisement | advertise on newsday

On a sunny spring morning, Todd Pletcher suffered through a trainers worst nightmare.

Intense Holiday, working out for the June 7 Belmont Stakes, suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture of the right foreleg shortly before 9 oclock Sunday on Belmont Parks main track. Pletcher said the injury was not life-threatening or even career-threatening, and that veterinarian Dr. Patricia Hogan would perform surgery Sunday in Cream Ridge, New Jersey.

Exercise rider Patti Krotenko dismounted on the clubhouse turn after pulling up the colt, who was walked onto an equine ambulance. Daily Racing Form clocker Mike Vesce said Intense Holiday didnt look right in the workout, and he pulled up badly. He didnt look nearly as good as he did all winter. He usually works tremendously, and today he got beat by Commissioner.

Intense Holiday was a workout star at Churchill Downs before the Kentucky Derby, in which he finished 12th behind California Chrome. Intense Holiday skipped the Preakness.

Pletcher likes working his better horses together, and Intense Holiday was in company with Commissioner, who completed 5 furlongs in 1:01.77 for jockey Javier Castellano.

Kentucky-based Starlight Racing owns the son of Harlans Holiday, who is 2-for-9 with career eanings of $551,900. Jack Wolf, Starlights founder and principal owner, was in the stands watching the workout. Giants executive Chris Mara has been a minority partner since 2012.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

It was the second time in five days that Pletcher took a horse out of the Belmont, which he has won twice. The six-time Eclipse Award winner announced Tuesday he was withdrawing Danza, third in the Derby, from consideration. Pletcher said the colt appeared tired and had a minor skin ailment. Last month, his undefeated Florida Derby winner, Constitution, suffered a hairline fracture of the right foreleg (also not career-threatening) in a workout.

As bad as the morning was, the afternoon offered Wolf and Pletcher hope that they may have another serious 3-year-old colt. In the first race, Tiz Darks 6-length runaway in his second start raised their spirits. The late Bob Murphy called baseball a game of redeeming features, and so is horse racing.

Notes & quotes: Three other Belmont contenders worked out Tonalist (5 furlongs, 1:01.66; Wicked Strong (mile, 1:39.59, training track) and Samraat (mile, 1:41.28) Owner Ron Sanchez said he wasnt sure if Social Inclusion (third in the Preakness) will run in the Belmont or in the undercards Easy Goer Stakes Derby runner-up Commanding Curve breezed 5 furlongs in 59.80 Friday at Churchill ... The Belmont field stands at 11.

Subscribe to Newsday’s sports newsletter for stories, photos and videos about your favorite New York teams plus national sports news and events.

You also may be interested in: