USA: Leading Kentucky Derby fancy Mr. Monomoy sustains ankle injury

Off the trail: Mr. Monomoy (Florent Geroux) wins the Risen Star Stakes (Div 1) at Fair Grounds.
Photo: Hodges Photography/Fair Grounds

By Nicholas Godfrey

USA: Leading Kentucky Derby fancy Mr. Monomoy, generally available at 16-1 with British bookmakers, is off the Triple Crown trail with an ankle injury.

Trained by Brad Cox, the son of Palace Malice advertised his Kentucky claims when he wired a strong-looking field to land a division of the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on February 15.

According to a report in the Daily Racing Form, a minor ankle injury diagnosed after a routine gallop last week means he is out of the reckoning.

“We sent the X-rays to Kentucky and they thought the horse needed 60 days’ rest,” said bloodstock agent Liz Crow, racing manager for Mr. Monomoy’s partnership owners.

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In other Kentucky Derby news, although trainer Brendan Walsh is stepping up Maxfield’s training ready for a comeback, he is mulling over whether to change tack and prepare Maxfield for the Preakness instead.

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Godolphin’s homebred son of 2007 Derby winner Street Sense won both career starts as a juvenile, landing the G1 Breeders’ Futurity by 5½ lengths on the second occasion.

However, a foot bruise ruled him out of the Breeders’ Cup and he is yet to make his three-year-old debut. Though he is pleasing Walsh in his work, the trainer faces a race against time if Churchill Downs is to become a realistic ambition.

“The next work or two we’ll have a good idea of where we’re going to go with him, but he’s doing good,” he said.

“We have to see with him because it’ll be a question of, do we take a shot at one of the Derby trials if he’s doing real good or just try to find something a little softer for him off the layoff?

“The other thing would be to come back maybe somewhere around Keeneland and run him in the Preakness. That might be the other option,” he added.

“It doesn’t matter where he comes back, he’s going to be a good horse this year. It’s just a question about what the timing allows us to do. We’d all love to win the Derby, but on the same point I’m not going to sacrifice a horse like him just for it.”

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