Stradivari was galloping out after breezing in company with Belmont Stakes runner-up Destin when he sustained a lateral condylar fracture and axial sesamoid fracture in his right front leg.
“He’s in a support cast bandage, and we’re going to evaluate him over the weekend,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It’s definitely a career-ending injury.”
A son of Medaglia d'Oro , out of the stakes-winning mare Bending Strings (American Chance), Stradivari was bred in Kentucky by John Gunther. He failed to meet his reserve at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2014, bringing a final bid of $335,000. Gunther owns the colt in partnership with Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Mrs. John Magnier.
Stradivari broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park in December, winning his second start by 11 1/4 lengths. An allowance win at Keeneland was similarly dominant. He finished fourth in the Preakness Stakes and fifth in the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets (both gr. I).
Veterinarians will assess the structure in his leg and the blood supply, and should Stradivari progress well, he would have surgery July 25 to fuse the ankle with a plate and screws.
“Hopefully we can go forward with the surgery and save him for a stallion prospect,” Pletcher said. “We’re optimistic, but he’s got a long road ahead of him. If things go favorably over the weekend, I think we have a chance.”