By Claire Novak and Ron Mitchell
Multiple graded stakes winner Caracortado will miss the $1 million GEICO Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) with a slight quarter crack in the right front hoof, trainer Mike Machowsky confirmed Nov. 2.
Caracortado, a 6-year-old Cat Dreams gelding, was brought back from more than a 20-month absence after shedding the frog on the same front hoof to race again this year. He finished fourth in the Sept. 27 Eddie D. Stakes (gr. IIIT) last time out.
Machowsky said Caracortado was fine when he walked early the morning of Breeders' Cup Day 2, but then a piece of cinderl was detected in his hoof. When the cinderl was blown out, it appeared that there was a quarter crack about a quarter of an inch long.
"He picked up a piece of cinder in his coronet band of his right front foot at some point this week and it turned into an abscess," Machowsky said. "It's the same foot he had those frog issues (that had sidelined him for more than a year and a half), but this is a different thing.
The trainer said Caracortado was jogged on the lane next to his barn and was inspected by state veterinarians before the decision was made to scratch.
"The cinder came out and the abscess cleared, but he's still tender. It's like a blister breaking; there's still a sore spot there. We jog him down the road and he takes some good steps, then some bad ones. He's just sensitive with it, and with this kind of horses and this kind of race you just can't go unless you're fully ready.
"It is not a big thing but the timing couldn't be worse," Machowsky said. "Knowing him, he will probably be fine this afternoon and go to the track tomorrow. I had five months of uninterrupted training with him since he came back."
Machowsky trains the chestnut for a partnership group that includes Blahut Racing, Donkey Island Racing, and the Kagele Brothers.