Ken Ramsey said International Star was scratched after the son of Fusaichi Pegasus had some problems this morning with his left-front foot.
"The state vet got there this morning to check him out and did not like the way he jogged down the shedrow. Our blacksmith took the left-front shoe off and there was definitely some heat on the inside quarter of the left-front foot," Ramsey said. "Something's brewing in there, probably an abscess. There's nothing major wrong with the horse whatsoever. We think we'll probably have him ready to come back for the Preakness (Stakes [gr. I]) but time will tell."
The Ramseys are mutliple Eclipse Award winners who are seeking their first Kentucky Derby victory.
"It's a devastating blow to come this far. I thought I had a decent shot at winning the race," Ramsey said. "But it happened to A.P. Indy and a lot of other horses before. It's bad news for the owners and the family that pinned so many hopes on finally getting to the other side of the racetrack (to the infield Kentucky Derby winner's circle)."
The scratch of the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner will leave 18 horses to compete in the Derby. International Star was listed as No. 12 in the program for today's Derby, race 11. El Kabeir was scratched May 1 from the Derby.
International Star swept the graded stakes for 3-year-old males this spring and winter at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, registering wins in the LeComte Stakes (gr. III), Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), and Louisiana Derby. International Star was listed at 20-1 on the Derby morning-line.
The Ramseys' multiple grade I-winning mare Stephanie's Kitten, as well as Scrumpdilicious and Coalport, were scratched from the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT). The Ramseys' Granny's Kitten was scratched from the American Turf Presented by Ram Trucks (gr. IIT).
Ramsey did not provide much detail on the scratch of Stephanie's Kitten other than to say it involved a disagreement with her trainer Chad Brown. The other two entries in the Turf Classic would have provided early pace for the mare as she was scheduled to take on males.
"That's an issue between me and Chad Brown," Ramsey said. "I won't get into that in the press but none of the three in the Woodford Reserve will be running in our colors today."
Reach for a Kitten, the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the third race, a maiden turf race, is still scheduled to race.