Fever Knocks Affluent out of Santa Margarita

Janis R. Whitham's grade I winner Affluent has been withdrawn from Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita after developing a "slight temperature," trainer Ron McAnally's assistant, Dan Landers, said late Saturday afternoon.

Blood tests have been taken from the 5-year-old daughter of Affirmed as a precautionary measure with the results expected back in the next day or so.

"She developed a little bit of a fever, but it's not a big deal," Landers said. "It's something that if we keep her out of the race she'll get better ,but could really make her sick if she runs, so it's best for her to keep her in the barn."

Millionaire Affluent won the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) in her first start of 2003, bringing her career line to 20-8-5-3. She also won last year's Ramona Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar, as well as the 2001 La Brea Stakes (gr. I), Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT), El Encino Stakes (gr. II) and Hollywood Oaks (gr. II), and placed in eight other graded stakes, six of which were grade 1. Overall her bankroll stands at $1,433,415.

"I'm sure she'll be fine, but we don't want to run her unless she's 100 percent," Landers said.

Affluent would have battled with Got Koko and Starrer for favoritism in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Margarita, which has been reduced to a field of five without her.