Hoppertunity scratched from Kentucky Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Trainer Bob Baffert announced Thursday morning that Hoppertunity will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby because of a problem with his left front foot. Baffert said veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage was scheduled to examine the colt Thursday afternoon at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington.
"We felt more comfortable withdrawing him, and we're going to get him scanned," Baffert said. "We're pretty sure it's the foot, but we want to make sure that it's nothing else so we can continue on with him to the [May 17] Preakness.'"
Hoppertunity, who had drawn post 11, was the 6-1 second choice in the morning line. The scratch opened a spot for the race's only also-eligible, Pablo Del Monte. Trainer Wesley Ward, who owns 25 percent of the colt, reportedly was "not keen" on running the 50-1 shot from post 20 and was discussing it with the other owners, the Ireland-based Coolmore group of Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor. The deadline to decide is 9 a.m. Friday. The nonrefundable fee for entering the draw is $25,000.
Whether Pablo Del Monte runs, every horse that drew outside Hoppertunity will move in one spot, with Dance With Fate going from post 12 to 11, and so on. Saddlecloth numbers will not change.
Churchill Downs linemaker Mike Battaglia adjusted his odds on six horses -- Wicked Strong (8-1 to 6-1), Danza (10-1 to 8-1); Intense Holiday (12-1 to 8-1); Tapiture (15-1 to 12-1); Candy Boy (20-1 to 15-1) and Vicar's in Trouble (30-1 to 20-1).