A veterinarian has ordered the scratch of Crown of Thorns out of the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Richard Mandella, Crown of Thorns was the second choice on the morning line at 4-1.
A 5-year-old son of Repent , Crown of Thorns finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) last year, and in his only two starts this year finished second in both the Pat O’Brien and Goodwood, both grade Is.
“There was some heat in his (right front) knee and we checked it and it turns out it was a flare up of an old injury,” Mandella said. “He’s had an issue with that knee for the past few years and it has come back. It’s nothing real serious; not a fracture or anything like that. But coming up to a race like this there’s just no way you could think about running him given the circumstances.
“It’s the kind of thing where I think we can do a procedure on him, give him a little time off, and bring him back for next year. That’s a possibility. It’ll be up to Mr. Hughes (Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes). I spoke to him about it this morning and he’s disappointed, of course, and considering his options.”