Shadwell Stable's Invasor, a three-time grade 1 winner this year, spiked a fever Thursday, missed a couple days of training, and is "very doubtful" to start in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) on Oct. 7, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said.
The 10-furlong Jockey Club Gold Cup was slated to be a showdown between Preakness and Travers (both gr. I) winner Bernardini and the 8-for-9 Invasor, whose only loss came against Discreet Cat in the group II UAE Derby this March.
"He had a 103 [degree] temperature Thursday," McLaughlin explained. "We pulled blood and his white count was elevated. We treated him, walked him yesterday, took more blood, and that blood came back perfect."
Invasor was scheduled to work this morning for next weekend's Gold Cup, but that work was scrapped.
"The timing of this is very inopportune," McLaughlin said. "We were really looking forward to facing Bernardini, and it would have been a great race. We could try to rush a work into him to make the race, but we'd hate to risk him being sick again."
McLaughlin said it is now likely that Invasor will be trained up to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 4. Invasor, Uruguay's Horse of the Year last year, would have to be supplemented to the Breeders' Cup Classic for $750,000.
A 4-year-old Argentina-bred son of Candy Stripes, Invasor has won his last three starts the Whitney, Suburban and Pimlico Special Handicaps, all grade I races.
to view Avalyn Hunter's pedigree profile of this Breeders' Cup Classic runner.