ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — A horse set to run in this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup died Tuesday at Santa Anita, and a short time later, Belmont Stakes winner Arcangelo dropped out of the $6 million Classic because of a foot issue.
Trainer Jena Antonucci said she ran out of time trying to resolve an issue with Arcangelo’s left hind foot. The colt had not trained the last few days after having the shoe on that foot removed last weekend.
“I need to fully figure out where he is and what is going on, and I need time to do that. As we have said since Day 1, it is horse first,” said Antonucci, the first female trainer to win the Belmont. “The left hind foot is resolving. But we’re still not 100% there, and I want to know what it is.”
Arcangelo had drawn the No. 1 post and was listed at 7-2 odds on the morning line for the Classic. His scratch reduces the field to 11. Kentucky Derby winner Mage had been expected to run in the Classic but never arrived at Santa Anita after spiking a fever last weekend.
Practical Move was returning from a morning gallop when he collapsed near the eighth pole. His rider wasn’t hurt. Breeders’ Cup officials said they suspected “a cardiac event.”
Veterinarians from the California Horse Racing Board, 1/ST Racing and the Breeders’ Cup tended to the 3-year-old colt.
Santa Anita is hosting the two-day world championships for a record 11th time, and the first since 2019. That year Mongolian Groom suffered a fatal leg injury in the Classic and had to be euthanized. He was one of 42 horses to die at the track in 2019, prompting a series of safety and medication reforms.
This weekend is the first Breeders’ Cup to be run under the full jurisdiction of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority, which oversees unified medication and safety rules for the sport.
Practical Move was the early 3-1 second choice for the $1 million Dirt Mile on Saturday at the 40th world championships.
He had five wins in eight career starts and earnings of $923,200. Practical Move won the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby on his home track before a fever forced him to miss the Kentucky Derby in May. He then took six months off and returned to win a race on Oct. 6 at Santa Anita.
The bay colt was trained by Tim Yakteen.
Another Breeders’ Cup contender who was injured near the end of a workout last Saturday at Santa Anita is not recovering as well as his owner had hoped.
Geaux Rocket Ride had surgery to repair a displaced condylar fracture on Sunday. It’s a repetitive strain injury that results in a fracture to the cannon bone above the fetlock because of large loads transmitted during high-speed workouts.
“Rocket is having an unexpected response to the surgery and isn’t recovering as we hoped,” according to a social media post by owner Pin Oak Stud. “He appears to be in no pain and is eating. Our boy is still fighting hard so we will keep fighting for him.”
The colt was transferred to the Chino Valley Equine Medical Hospital for further evaluation.
Geaux Rocket Ride had been pre-entered to run in the Classic.
The 3-year-old colt was injured near the end of a seven-furlong workout, which came one day after a workout was postponed because of what Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said were “tender feet” as the result of having been re-shod last Thursday.
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