The Lexington Stakes was to be Officer's chance to prove he deserved a trip to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The son of Bertrando won his first five starts last year as a 2-year-old, including the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I). He finished fifth as the odds-on favorite in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).Officer's first start of the year was April 7 in the Zany Tactics Stakes, which he won by a widening six lengths. The colt was also considered for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), but Baffert had held out hope he would be his second Derby horse if he ran big in the Lexington. Thoroughbred Corp.'s only Derby contender now is Illinois Derby (Gr. II) winner War Emblem, who the racing stable recently purchased.
Officer is out of Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II). The Thoroughbred Corp.'s standout 3-year-old was scratched Friday from the Keeneland stakes race because of a "suspicious area" on his left front tendon."We'll stop on him for 90 days," said trainer Bob Baffert. "Nothing is torn. He'll be all right, but we just want to be careful. It was just bad timing."The colt will recuperate at the Bradbury, Calif., farm of Prince Ahmed Salman, who races as The Thoroughbred Corp.