(from Oaklawn Park)
Sierra Sunset, a three-length winner of the $300,000 Rebel (gr. II) March 15 at Oaklawn Park, has a hairline fracture of his left front ankle and is out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Jeff Bonde reported.
"It's not bad enough to require surgery, but the colt will miss 60 to 90 days," Bonde said by phone from his Bay Meadows barn March 20.
Sierra Sunset, a bay California-bred Bertrando colt, was being prepared for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 12.
"We understand this is part of the game," Bonde said, "but of course this is very disappointing. He is a sound colt, he has danced every dance, he had a clean trip in the Rebel, and he appeared to come out of the race fine. The first set of X-rays were clean, but when we took a second set, we found the hairline. He will take the next available flight back to California, and we'll go from there."
As a 2-year-old, the California-bred Sierra Sunset won two stakes — the Bay Meadows Juvenile and California Cup Juvenile — and was 3-2-1 from eight starts.
After a fourth-place finish in his 3-year-old debut in the San Rafael (gr. III) over the synthetic strip at Santa Anita, Sierra Sunset was shipped by Bonde to Oaklawn in hopes that he would improve over a conventional dirt surface.
Sierra Sunset won the Rebel after a runner-up finish to Denis of Cork in the Southwest Stakes gr. III). He has four wins in 11 starts and earnings of $428,696 for owners Philip Lebherz, Al Mariani, George Schmitt and Carol Wirth Trust.