St Averil Scratched From Kentucky Derby; Field Reduced to 18

St Averil Scratched From Kentucky Derby; Field Reduced to 18
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
St Averil, with trainer Rafael Becerra and Rafael Becerra Jr., scratched from the Kentucky Derby.
Just a few hours after Wimbledon was scratched from Saturday's Kentucky Derby (gr, I), St Averil was withdrawn from the race.

Churchill Downs officials announced St Averil was out of the race at 11 a.m. Friday. Wimbledon was scratched at about 8 a.m. after trainer Bob Baffert discovered a tendon injury. St Averil's problem is his feet.

"His feet have been tender," trainer Rafael Becerra said. "We reshod him this morning, taking off the bar shoes he's been training in, but I still wasn't satisfied with the way he's traveling."

St Averil was the last horse to decide to run in the Derby, the decision not made until after a workout last weekend.

Tim McMurry, who purchases horses at auction for owner Stan Fulton, said St Averil's feet were bothering him again. "He just wasn't traveling well," McMurry said. "It was Rafael's decision and it was the right decision. It's a minor setback. His feet are obviously tender."

McMurry said St Averil would ship to Greenfield Farm in Lexington, Ky., to be evaluated and for some R&R, and then be returned to Becerra in California.

The two scratches bring into question Churchill Downs limit of the Derby field to 20 with no also eligible list. The 20 horses are allowed into the field based on graded stakes earnings. Two horses that wanted in this year, Eddington and Rock Hard Ten, did not make the field at the time of entry Wednesday.

A field of 18 will now go postward in the 130th Derby Saturday at 6:04 p.m.

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