Zavata, winning the Saratoga Special.

Zavata, winning the Saratoga Special.

Adam Coglianese

Zavata To Miss Champagne with Leg Injury

Michael Tabor's Zavata, who would have been one of the favorites for Saturday's Champagne Stakes, suffered an injury to his left hind leg Thursday morning and will not run in the one-mile, grade I race, according to trainer Patrick Biancone.

"We found swelling in the left hind leg this morning," Biancone said. "He suffered a cut on the leg, probably from kicking the wall of his stall. It's really a minor thing, but we can't take a chance on running him. It's a big disappointment for the stable, the owner, and myself, but that's racing. We're just fortunate there's no fracture. We'll fly to Arlington on Monday and train up to the Breeders' Cup. I don't see any problem, because he, like Whywhywhy, has been through everything. They're both very tough horses."

Zavata, a son of Phone Trick, captured the Tremont and Saratoga Special by big margins before finishing third as the 1-5 favorite in the Hopeful Stakes, in which he had a rough trip.