Last year it was I Want Revenge the morning of the race. This year, six days before the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby, likely post-time favorite Eskendereya has been declared out of the race because of a bad front leg.
Just goes to show how fragile these big, strong animals are. Also points out just how difficult it is to win the Derby. This colt was supposed to represent trainer Todd Pletcher’s best chance at his first Derby success after 24 failures, but now he’ll have to do it with one of his other runners.
You not only have to have the right horse to win the Kentucky Derby, but you’ve also got to be lucky. He or she has to stay sound and you need a clean trip in what is usually an overcrowded 20-horse field.
I got a feeling we’ll now see the filly Devil May Care in Saturday’s Derby if she looks ready. Pletcher feels a mile and a quarter and perhaps even longer distances will suit this filly, and when many of the others are backing up in the stretch she might just be the one who could keep going.
Eskendereya’s withdrawal is a blow to backers of Lookin At Lucky and Sidney’s Candy. Both of those colts’ prices figure to plummet now, with perhaps one of the two inheriting the favorite’s role.