(Edited Churchill Downs release)
Wagering on Raymond Cottrell, Sr.’s Birdbirdistheword, winner of the $1 million Delta Jackpot (gr. III) at Delta Downs in December, has been suspended for the April 12-15 Pool 3 of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Derby Future Wager after trainer Ken McPeek ruled out a run by the colt in the “Run for the Roses” on May 5.
McPeek told Churchill Downs officials on Wednesday that he is “regrouping” with the 3-year-old son of Pure Prize and the colt is no longer a candidate for the Kentucky Derby.
“I’m probably going to make him into a grass horse and we’re just kind of regrouping right now,” said McPeek.
Birdbirdistheword is unbeaten in a pair of races on the grass, while his lone win in five races on dirt came in the Delta Jackpot. He finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in his last two starts in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and Florida Derby (gr. I).
The defection of Birdbirdistheword, a 50-1 risk in Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds for KDFW Pool 3, leaves 23 wagering interests in the pool that include the mutuel field, which consists of all 3-year-old Thoroughbreds other than the 22 remaining individual horses.