Constitution has been knocked out of the Kentucky Derby with a hairline fracture in his front right cannon bone sustained and discovered on Monday. Connections released the information on Wednesday.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, the undefeated son of leading sire Tapit breezed a half mile in :50 3/5 on Sunday at Palm Meadows on Monday morning, he was discovered to be a little off in his right front leg.
“This is one of the biggest disappointments of my career,” said trainer Pletcher. “I really feel Constitution was our biggest chance to win the Kentucky Derby since Super Saver.
“My routine with all my horses is to jog them down the road, and I noticed he was slightly off. Dr. Yarborough took x-rays that revealed a slight hairline in his shin. Thankfully, it’s nothing very serious, and Constitution will be back to 100% after a little time. The timing is just a real shame for everyone involved, but the Derby doesn’t define a horse’s career.”
Constitution will be shipped to WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky. to rehabilitate, with the hopes of returning to training in 60 days and racing again in 2014. He’s owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables.
“While we are extremely disappointed to miss the Kentucky Derby, we’re just as excited about the future of Constitution,” said Randy Gullatt, Twin Creeks Racing’s general manager. “We think he’s just scratching the surface of his talent.”
WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden added: “Todd has done a tremendous job with Constitution and I can’t wait to get him back for two reasons: firstly, he has so much to accomplish, and secondly, he is the most exciting stallion prospect of his generation.”
Constitution holds a perfect record of three wins from three starts, including a win in the Grade I Florida Derby.
The defection moves Uncle Sigh into number 20 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.
--By Dick Downey