After being diagnosed with a non-contagious case of hepatitis Oct. 7, multiple grade I winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) finisher Devil May Care will skip the Nov. 5 Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, according to her owner John Greathouse of Glencrest Farm.
“She’s on an antibiotic…the filly looks and acts fine, but she continues to carry an elevated liver enzyme count,” said Greathouse of the daughter of Malibu Moon who finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby, but won the Mother Goose Stakes and the Betfair TVG Coaching Club American Oaks (both gr. I). Greathouse and trainer Todd Pletcher were concerned about the filly’s health, however, after she finished an uncharacteristic fourth to Blind Luck in her most recent effort, the Aug. 21 Alabama (gr. I) at Saratoga.
“We were shocked at her race in the Alabama,” said Greathouse. “People thought she didn’t want to go that far, but she was actually never in the race. At no point did she act like she would be that dominant force she had been in her last couple races. We got her back to the barn and looked at different things, and it seemed like there was nothing wrong with her, so we took blood tests, and that’s when our first red flag went up. We’ve been battling (the elevated liver enzymes) for some time, but we just couldn’t get it to where we wanted.”
Devil May Care was shipped to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington a few days ago, where veterinarians diagnosed her condition and recommended the filly have at least 60 days of rest before returning to training. She is currently being boarded at the Greathouse family’s Glencrest near Midway, Ky.
“We’ve got her turned out with a 30-year-old mare that was a companion for Honey Ryder and Panty Raid at different points in their lives,” said Greathouse. “This comes at a particularly bad time when we thought we were going to run well in the Beldame (gr. I) or Cotillion (gr. II), and then run back well in the Breeders’ Cup. You get denied those chances, and it’s too bad for the filly, too bad for Todd, and worse for me.”
Greathouse said if all goes well for Devil May Care during her layoff, she will return to Pletcher’s stable during the Gulfstream Park meeting early next year.
Bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing, Devil May Care is out of the Red Ransom mare Kelli’s Ransom and is a half sister to grade II winner Regal Ransom. The filly has won five of her nine starts, including the Frizette (gr. I) as a 2-year-old, for earnings of $724,000.