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Coglianese Photos/Leslie Martin

Injury Knocks Constitution Off Derby Trail

Tapit colt will miss Triple Crown but connections plan to race him later this year.

Besilu Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Constitution  will miss the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the other two Triple Crown races after a hairline fracture in his front right cannon bone was discovered April 14.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, the undefeated son of Tapit  breezed a half mile in :50 3/5 April 13 at Palm Meadows training track in Boynton Beach, Fla., and the following morning he was discovered to be off in his right front leg. 

"This is one of the biggest disappointments of my career," Pletcher said. "I really feel Constitution was our biggest chance to win the Kentucky Derby since Super Saver . My routine with all my horses is to jog them down the road, and I noticed he was slightly off (Monday). Dr. Yarborough took x-rays that revealed a slight hairline in his shin. Thankfully, it's nothing very serious, and Constitution will be back to 100% after a little time. The timing is just a real shame for everyone involved, but the Derby doesn't define a horse's career."

Constitution will be shipped to Kenny Troutt's WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. to rehabilitate, with hopes of returning to training in 60 days and racing again in 2014. The talented bay colt is owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables.

"While we are extremely disappointed to miss the Kentucky Derby, we're just as excited about the future of Constitution," said Randy Gullatt, Twin Creeks Racing's general manager. "We think he's just scratching the surface of his talent."

WinStar President Elliott Walden added: "Todd has done a tremendous job with Constitution and I can't wait to get him back for two reasons: firstly, he has so much to accomplish; and secondly, he is the most exciting stallion prospect of his generation."

Constitution holds a perfect record of three wins from three starts this winter at Gulfstream Park, including his victory in the March 29 Florida Derby. Out of the Distorted Humor  mare Baffled, he has earnings of $649,350 to date. Bred in Kentucky by Grapestock and Fox Hill Farms, he was a $400,000 purchase at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.


Listen to Steve Haskin talk about Constitution leading into his Florida Derby (gr. I) win.

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