“My horse isn’t so fine. It’s something that came up this morning. I got a call telling me that he was off behind,” said trainer John Sadler from Hollywood Park after receiving the disheartening news from assistant trainer Larry Benevidez, who has been overseeing the colt’s day-to-day training at Churchill Downs.
“This is pretty fresh, but it looks similar to the problem he had at Oak Tree,” said Sadler, referring to a condition that popped up last fall at Santa Anita and delayed the colt’s 3-year-old campaign. “He might have re-injured himself in the same area.”
Hurricane Ike, who had won the Derby Trial impressively to earn his way into the field for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, had been scheduled to accompany nine other Preakness hopefuls on a noon flight from Louisville to Baltimore Wednesday.
“This is extremely disappointing,” said Sadler, who had been looking forward to saddling his first starter in the Preakness. “It’s disappointing, but what can you do? Sometimes they don’t cooperate. Hopefully, we’ll get him into some big races later this year.”