Southern Image will be forced to miss the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) on July 10 because of a foot injury, Mike Machowsky reported Sunday from his Santa Anita training base."He did not work this morning," said Machowsky of the 4-year-old colt's first scheduled drill since a heart-pounding second-place finish in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on June 12. "There was a touch of heat in his left foot. The pulse is warm, a sign he is going to pop an abscess. We will soak it with Epsom salts."Machowsky did not estimate a timetable for the colt's return. "Feet sometimes take time," he said. "We've always made it a habit to be very patient with him throughout his career, and we're going to continue with that."
Southern Image, one of the leading handicap horses in the nation, had won five straight races – including the Santa Anita Handicap and Pimlico Special (both gr. I) – prior to his nose setback in Kentucky.The defection of the probable favorite in the Grade I race at 1 1/4 miles may encourage other horsemen to change their plans. Probable starters are headed by Even The Score, winner of the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap and Californian (both gr. II) preps at Hollywood, and Yessirgeneralsir, winner of the Lone Star Handicap on May 31.