Val Royal to Skip Hong Kong Mile

By Margaret Ransom
Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) hero Val Royal will not make the trip to Hong Kong to contest the December 16 Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse after developing a slight quarter crack, trainer Julio Canani revealed. In what was to be his first start since his win in the Oct. 27 Mile, the five-year-old son of Royal Academy was most recently scratched from the Nov. 24 Citation H. (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park after the turf course came up soft due to rainy weather

"We discovered the quarter crack about two days ago, but it isn't serious; it's really minor," Canani explained. "We'll give him about a week off and then start getting him ready for the winter."

The David S. Milch colorbearer's record stands at 10-7-2-0 for earnings of $1,108,482.

Canani's other stable star, six-year-old Tranquility Lake, worked six furlongs in 1:13 over a fast track at Santa Anita Sunday and remains on target for the December 15, 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa H. (gr. II) at Hollywood Park. Tranquility Lake, who is unraced since a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), was also withdrawn from the November 25 Matriarch S. (gr. I) due to track conditions.

"She's doing super," Canani said of the multiple grade I-winning millionaire. "I think she'll run great in the Bayakoa."