Distilled Injured in Gallop; Out of Preakness

Distilled Injured in Gallop; Out of Preakness
Photo: AP/Robert Borrea
With Bryan Beccia aboard, Monarchos gallops at Pimlico.
Dogwood Stable's Distilled, winner of the Illinois Derby, will not run in the 126th Preakness Stakes after suffering a small tear in the suspensory ligament in his his left front ankle while galloping at Belmont Park Friday morning.

In discussing any link between this injury and the minor injuries the son of Hennessy sustained in the Lexington Stakes, Dogwood president Cot Campbell said, "While these injuries cleared up not long after the race, it is surmised that there could have been a few torn fibers in the suspensory that were not detectable."

Campbell said Distilled will miss several months of training, and it is hoped to have him back in time for a fall campaign.

While Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos continued to gallop strongly at Pimlico Friday morning for the 126th Preakness Stakes, stablemate Hero's Tribute, who was being pointed for the Sir Barton Stakes the same day, popped a quarter crack on his left front hoof, and will now await the Peter Pan Stakes. The son of Sea Hero popped the quarter while jogging.

"He's had that blind quarter crack since Breeders' Cup Week," trainer John Ward said. "That's why we were behind with him this winter. Luckily, it was a vertical crack, not horizontal, and it makes me feel tremendously good that it finally popped. It was bothering him during the Blue Grass Stakes, and I'm glad to see it come out of there. We'll have the blacksmith clean it out Monday. We'll reinforce it, and he should be ready for the Peter Pan."

Ward said Monarchos had a strong gallop this morning, and "broke a sweat" in the heat. "He came out of of the gallop and ate up. He really likes Secretariat's stall. He fills it up pretty well."

As of now, Ward likely will run Monarchos in the Preakness without any works. "He's been two-minute licking and getting a lot out of his gallops. It's been hot here, and we want him to sweat and get some of the debris out his muscles. At this point, I'm very happy with where he's at, and don't feel he needs to work."

The prospective Preakness field is now down to 10, with the status of Dollar Bill still up in the air. There presently are four Preakness horses on the grounds – Monarchos, A P Valentine, Griffinite, and Percy Hope. Griffinite, winner of the Lafayette Stakes, worked six furlongs Friday in 1:15 1/5. The son of Unbridled's Song closed his last eighth in :12 1/5, and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:29 1/5. "He's not much of a work horse," trainer Jennifer Leigh-Pederson said. "He gets bored. He only does as much as he has to."

Percy Hope is scheduled to work Sunday, while A P Valentine will work on Monday. Richly Blended is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, with the California-based trio of Point Given, Congaree, and Mr. John due in on Wednesday. Delaware Park-based Bay Eagle's work on Sunday will determine his status, while another Delaware Park horse, Marciano, will ship in on race day.

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