J. Paul Reddam’s Red Rocks, the early 9-5 favorite for Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational, will be scratched from the mile and one-half turf race because of filling in his left hock, trainer Mark Hennig said Friday morning.
“Thursday afternoon he had filling in his left hock and we felt like we needed to treat it,” said Hennig, who took over training of Red Rocks last month. “That, and the prospect of running over soft turf with the possibility of further aggravating it, led us to that decision.”
The Sword Dancer would have been the first start for the Irish-bred Red Rocks, winner of the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Turf, since Hennig took over training from Brian Meehan following his two-length victory over 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin in the Man o’War on July 12 at Belmont Park.
Hennig said he did not have an alternate race picked out yet.
“We want to get this handled first,” he said. “And there are plenty of opportunities coming up in the fall.”