A leg injury has taken Midnight Cry Stable’s Einstein out of consideration for Saturday’s $750,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
A grade I winner on turf, the 5-year-old son of 1985 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Spend a Buck was scheduled to make his debut in stakes competition on the main track in the 1 1/8-mile Foster. But trainer Helen Pitts said Einstein is suffering from a bruised splint bone in his right fore and the injury would force him to miss Saturday’s race.
“He worked awesome last week, but he just wasn’t right afterwards,” said Pitts. “We’re probably going to give him about three weeks and then we’ll bring him back and see what happens.”
Pitts wonders if the injury could have occurred when Einstein dodged a fallen horse during the running of the Dixie Handicap (gr. IIT) on the turf at Pimlico on Preakness card May 19. Einstein unseated jockey Robby Albarado, but appeared unhurt that day.
“He’s been doing great,” said Pitts. “I don’t do enough with him in the mornings until we worked him for a deep bone bruise to come out. Then when we worked him, he worked awesome. But he just wasn’t right when he came out of it.”
Meanwhile, trainer Kiaran McLaughin said on Sunday that he would pass on the Stephen Foster with both Shadwell Stable’s Jazil and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Flashy Bull.
Entries for the Foster and each of the six stakes races on the $1.8 million “Stephen Foster Super Saturday” program will be taken on Wednesday.