Scheduled for surgery on the afternoon of April 8 for a hairline fracure of his left front cannon bone, Premier Pegasus is officially off the Triple Crown trail.
The morning line favorite for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 9 was withdrawn from the race after injuring himself during a gallop on the training track April 7.
Mary Ayala, assistant to Myung Kwon Cho, the trainer, owner and breeder of Premier Pegasus, said the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus is expected to miss at least two months. Premier Pegasus won last month's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) by a record 7 3/4 lenths and was the 8-5 early favorite for the Santa Anita Derby.
Premier Pegasus looked none the worse for wear at Barn 24 and was eating like he didn’t have a care in the world at 8 a.m. He was scheduled to undergo surgery at the Southern California Equine Foundation Hospital on Santa Anita’s backstretch. Dr. Keith Latson will direct the procedure.
“I called Mr. Cho after the horse came back from his gallop yesterday, because he seemed off in his left front,” said Ayala, Cho’s assistant of 22 years. “Of course he was disappointed when we learned the horse would miss the race, but like all of us, he knows the horse comes first. Right now both Mr. Cho and the horse are feeling fine.”