Country music star Toby Keith's homebred Cactus Ridge has been declared out of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) due to a knee injury, according to a release from Hawthorne Race Course. Cactus Ridge and trainer Bret Calhoun are based at the Chicago-area track.
"He came back from Saturday's work in good order, but this morning when we walked him he was off in his right front," Calhoun said. "We took some X-rays and discovered the injury in his right knee. It's not career threatening, but he'll be laid up for a couple of months. We'll have to look forward to a 3-year-old campaign."
On Saturday, the son of Hennessey breezed five furlongs over Hawthorne's fast main track in 1:00.26 for five furlongs. He galloped out in 1:13.45 for six furlongs and 1:27.55 for seven panels under regular rider Eddie Martin Jr.
Cactus Ridge, which was bred under Keith's Dream Walkin' Farm banner, is undefeated in four starts. Despite a stumble at the start, he cruised to a three-length win in the grade III Arlington Washington Futurity in his most recent effort.
"I'm still a little shocked and I haven't had a chance to digest the new just yet," Calhoun said. "This is a terrible blow to have one this close to the Breeders' Cup. That's part of this game. The highs are high, and the lows can be really low."