Catesby W. Clay’s Rogue Romance has sustained a slight heel bruise and will miss his scheduled workout this weekend as well as his intended start in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (gr. II) on March 26, according to a press release.
Trainer Ken McPeek reported that the 3-year-old Smarty Jones colt, bred by Clay in partnership with the Clay family’s Runnymede Farm, is walking sound but is somewhat sensitive on the problem foot.
The connections are hopeful that the bruise won’t affect Rogue Romance’s status for the May 7 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). They currently are reviewing options, including the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), both on April 16, for a final prep race.
“This is a minor ailment that will heal with a minimum amount of treatment,” said Runnymede general manager Martin O’ Dowd. “We’re thankful it is not a serious setback, just a deviation from our original plans as we act in the horse’s best interest.”
Rogue Romance has won two of five career starts. The chestnut colt won the Bourbon Stakes (br. IIIT) on turf at Keeneland last fall before finishing third in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
With earnings of $321,150, Rogue Romance currently ranks sixth among Derby contenders by graded earnings.