Calibrachoa, one of the favorites for the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) April 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack, has been scratched on the morning of the race.
Todd Pletcher, who trains the five-time graded stakes winner for Mike Repole, said a quarter crack necessitated the defection.
“Two starts ago (in the grade III Toboggan) he stumbled out of the gate and grabbed a quarter,” said Pletcher. “It kind of grew down into the wall area on the inside quarter of his right, front foot. We thought he worked well the other day, but we couldn’t quite get it ready for today. It’s a case where by Monday or Tuesday it would have been OK.”
All five of Calibrachoa’s graded stakes wins have come at Aqueduct, including the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Toboggan and Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III). In the Tom Fool, he defeated Carter entrants Caleb's Posse and Emcee.
“It’s disappointing because the horse loves Aqueduct and it’s a grade I opportunity over a track he seems to prefer over all others,” said Pletcher.