Colonel John , the morning line favorite for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 7, has been scratched after spiking a temperature on the morning of the race.
"It looks like he has a virus, but I won't know for sure what's wrong until I get back the blood work. But he's running a temperature; he can't go," said trainer Eoin Harty.
Colonel John, winner of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Travers Stakes (gr. I) last year, was the 9-2 early choice.
Harty said he has no idea about where Colonel John goes from here.
"I won't even think about it until I know he's 100 percent," he said. "Then I'll come up with a game plan."
Garrett Gomez, who was to ride Colonel John, has accepted the mount on Monba , replacing Edgar Prado, who will not ride as expected at Santa Anita, according to the track's publicity office.
In other program notes at Santa Anita March 7, both Monterey Jazz and Mast Track have been withdrawn from the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap. Julien Leparoux, who was to ride Mast Track, will replace Prado aboard Becrux.