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Anne M. Eberhardt

Hoppertunity Off Triple Crown Trail

Trainer Bob Baffert confirms colt needs rest after Rood &amp;amp; Riddle inspection.

Rebel Stakes (gr. II) winner Hoppertunity is off the Triple Crown trail after undergoing minor surgery at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert confirmed May 5.

Baffert had already told reporters the 3-year-old son of Any Given Saturday would miss the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) after bypassing the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) due to bruising in his left front foot, but the trainer had an update with additional information regarding the colt's status after hearing from doctors at the Kentucky clinic.

"It was a combination; his foot had a bruise but when they X-rayed him they saw he had a spur in the fetlock," Baffert said. "It was small but as long as we were going to stop on him, they went ahead and took it out."

Hoppertunity, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, earned his way into the Kentucky Derby field with a gutsy victory in the March 15 Rebel at Oaklawn Park, just two starts after breaking his maiden at Santa Anita Park in late January. But the long-striding bay was eliminated from Derby consideration two days after turning in his final pre-race breeze April 28 in the slop at Churchill Downs.

ANGST: Bad Foot Knocks Hoppertunity From Derby

"I won't send him back to California for a month," Baffert said. "We'll just rehab him there (at Rood & Riddle). They cleaned it up, but we're going to miss all the good action (this spring)."

Bred in Kentucky by D.J. Stable, Kidder, Betz, and Robenalt out of the Unaccounted For mare Refugee, Hoppertunity is a half brother to retired multiple grade I winner Executiveprivilege. He was purchased by Baffert at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale for $300,000 when consigned by Betz Thoroughbreds, and has a record of two wins and a second from five starts for earnings of $610,720.