Kentucky Derby winner Mage out of Breeders' Cup Classic, trainer says horse has decreased appetite

FILE - Mage (8), with Javier Castellano aboard, wins the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Louisville, Ky. Kentucky Derby winner Mage and Belmont Stakes winner Arcangelo head a full field of 14 horses for the wide-open Breeders' Cup Classic. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

ARCADIA. Calif. (AP) — Kentucky Derby winner Mage won't run in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic, his trainer said Sunday.

Mage had yet to travel to California for the world championships next weekend at Santa Anita.

“He presented a feverish state this morning and we have noticed symptoms of loss (of) appetite,” trainer Gustavo Delgado posted on social media.

“We were very enthusiastic about the condition that the horse was going through, and despite how disappointed we feel right now, we are confident in a speedy recovery.”

Ramiro Restrepo, a co-owner of Mage, also posted, “Timing stinks but lucky we caught it early. Can't run at below 100%; horse comes first. Onwards to the Pegasus and his 4YO campaign.”

The Pegasus World Cup is Jan. 27 at Gulfstream.

Mage, who won the Derby at 15-1 odds, finished third in the Preakness, second in the Haskell and was last in the Travers, his most recent start on Aug. 26.

His defection leaves the Classic with just one Triple Crown race winner. Arcangelo won the Belmont and later the Travers. Preakness winner National Treasure is expected to run in the $1 million Dirt Mile on Saturday.

Also out of the Classic is Geaux Rocket Ride after the colt was injured during a workout Saturday at Santa Anita. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who was aboard, wasn't hurt.

Geaux Rocket Ride sustained a condylar fracture, according to a statement from the Breeders’ Cup. It’s a repetitive strain injury that results in a fracture to the cannon bone above the fetlock due to large loads transmitted during high-speed workouts.

The loss of Mage and Geaux Rocket Ride clears the way for two others to join the maximum 14-horse field for the Classic when final entries are taken and post positions are drawn Monday.


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