Far From Over, winner of the Feb. 7 Withers Stakes (gr. III), is off the Triple Crown trail due to a non-displaced condylar fracture of the left hind leg sustained March 28 in his latest workout prepping for the April 4 Twinspires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I).
The 3-year-old son of Blame will undergo an operation at Lexington Equine Surgery in Kentucky. He breezed four furlongs in :48.98 March 28 at Palm Beach Downs.
"He was walking a little short the day after the work," said Nick Sallusto, racing manager for majority owner Steve Marshall's Black Rock Thoroughbreds. "An X-ray revealed a tiny crack, but when we did a new scan it lit up. You can't believe how good horse has gotten. It's just a bizarre random event; there's no reason for it. I haven't been more excited about a race in a long time. This won't sink in for a while.
"He's one of the best talents I've ever had the privilege to be around. He was meant to be a better older horse, and that's why we took a conservative approach with him. I believe we have better days ahead of us."
Far From Over, bred in Kentucky by Alexander Groves Matz, will be operated on by Dr. Wes Sutter by the end of the week. A screw will be inserted to facilitate the healing process.
Far From Over was a $550,000 purchase by bloodstock agents Sallusto and Albina from the Gainesway consignment at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale. The bay ridgling broke his maiden by a nose for trainer Todd Pletcher on the inner track at Aqueduct Racetrack Dec. 12, then won the Withers in impressive fashion with a determined late run after being left at the start. A minority interest was recently sold by Black Rock Thoroughbreds to James Covello and Madaket Stable.
"Everyone is still searching for words," said Marshall, who also lost Derby contender Violence to injury several years ago. "We heard the initial report on Sunday and have been walking through it. This one hurt. It's a little bit different than Violence, who I owned alone. With this colt I have some of my best friends involved, so it doesn't get any worse than this. It's just tough this time of year getting to the Derby, but we'll be back. I'm not stopping. I'll die trying"