Gradepoint, winning the Risen Star Stakes.

Gradepoint, winning the Risen Star Stakes.

Lou Hodges Jr

Gradepoint's Career in Jeopardy After Injury; Breakaway to Sub in Blue Grass

William Farish's Gradepoint, winner of the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), suffered a slab fracture of the right knee after a workout at Churchill Downs Monday in preparation for the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) and will not race again this year, trainer Neil Howard said.

"He worked Monday, and when he came back, halfway through cooling out, he started acting a little funny," Howard said. "We knew something was wrong right away. We had X-rays taken and they revealed the fracture."

Howard said, after conferring with Dr. Foster Northrup, it was possible the injury could have been coming for a while and played a major role in Gradepoint's disappointing effort in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II).

"Dr. Northrup said sometimes they don't come apart at that particular moment, and could have been the reason he ran so poorly," Howard said.

"We're not exactly sure about his future. We'll talk with with Dr. (Larry) Bramlage after looking at the X-rays and evaluate whether or not to consider bringing him back as a four-year-old. But this season is over."

Howard said that Breakaway, a fast-closing fourth in the Louisiana Derby, will now run in the Blue Grass.

"We were looking to run him somewhere that day," Howard said. "He's definitely an improving horse. Mr. Farish and I discussed it and felt we should run him in the Blue Grass, which should give us some direction what we need to do with him. He's really doing well and has been training great. With his running style, hopefully, the track will be like it was last fall, and speed biased."