'Slight' Leg Injury Sidelines Beethoven

'Slight' Leg Injury Sidelines Beethoven
Photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Beethoven won the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs last November.

Trainer John Ward said Wednesday, March 25, that Beethoven had sustained a slight injury to his left front leg and will “be on sidelines for short period.”

The colt, owned by John Oxley, would have been the likely fourth betting choice in Saturday’s Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.

"There was some heat in a tendon in a front leg (Wednesday) morning,” Ward said. “It seems minor, not extreme, but we decided it’s best to not make a minor situation worse. It’s possible he could be back in the entries in the not-too-distant future.”

Asked about whether the setback would also mean Beethoven would not go on to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Ward said it is too early tell the extent of the problem and that he had not discussed that with Oxley.

“As conservative as I am, probably not, but we don’t know at this time,” Ward said.

In his most recent start, Beethoven closed from far back to finish third in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I) at Gulfstream behind winner Quality Road.

A 3-year-old son of Sky Mesa, Beethoven has won three of his seven career starts, with two third-place efforts, while earning $182,413. He was a $300,000 Keeneland September sale yearling purchase.

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