ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Undefeated Sky Mesa has been scratched from the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday because of an ankle injury in his right fore.
He was favored to win the race. He was the son of Pulpit, and the 3-1 morning line favorite for the 1 1/8 mile race.
"It looks like it could be a strain or a wrench," said trainer John Ward. "The best part of it is that there is no evidence of a condylar fracture, and initial pictures show no crack. It's unfortunate timing, but the future might still look good."
It is unknown how Sky Mesa, the winner of the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga, suffered the injury.
"It wasn't there when he came back from the track yesterday," said Donna Ward, the trainer's wife and assistant. "Who knows where it happened? The groom said he left at 10:30 last night and the colt was moving around fine. When the groom called this morning, he said it looked like he was tender in the stall. The fortunate thing is that better today than tomorrow (during the race). The local vet who saw him this morning said it looked like a sprain. Let's hope that's all it is."
The absence of Sky Mesa reduces the Juvenile field to 13 horses.