Raymond Mamone's Imperial Hint has been scratched from the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita Park. The news was first first reported by the Daily Racing Form via Twitter Saturday morning.
Trainer Luis Carvajal Jr. said the 6-year-old son of Imperialism developed a blister on his coronet band during the application of glue-on shoes, but that the issue was minor and would not impact his training going forward.
"We came over to Santa Anita to definitely win a race," said Carvajal Jr. "I had the feeling this year was his chance to shine more than he already has. He's been on the track every day and he's been training really good like he always does. I've known this horse since he was 2 years old. I know him from hip to toe. We came here and went to the track and trained perfectly fine. I took him to the paddock and everything but unfortunately, the horse has glue on shoes becuase he has a thin wall and you can't put nails in it. So with those shoes, when you put them on, they get really hot. Unfortunately he got a little blister on his coronet band.
"It's a minor thing and after we got him here we worked on that every day. I think he might be OK in three days but every time the state vet came we told him, 'He'll be a little sensitive in the coronet band, so when you touch it the horse will feel it.' But like I said, if the horse had something really wrong where we were concerned about it, we wouldn't put him on the track. You wouldn't put a horse on the track knowing that you're going to make it worse or something could happen. It was not a big deal so that was why I took him to the track every day and he did great on the track every day."
Bred in Florida by Shade Tree Thoroughbreds, this year's renewal of the Sprint would have been the third effort for Imperial Hint who finished second in 2017 and third in 2018. A tremendously consistent sprinter, the dark bay has already added two grade 1 wins to his résumé this year with repeat scores in the July 27 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga Race Course and Sept. 28 Vosburgh Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Imperial Hint set a new track record for six furlongs in his Vanderbilt effort this year, completing the dirt test in a lightning-fast 1:07.92.
The multiple graded stakes winner has won 14 of his 23 lifetime starts and banked $2,199,155 in purse earnings. In his final breeze before the Breeders' Cup, Imperial Hint breezed a bullet half-mile in :46 flat Oct. 24 at Monmouth Park, the fastest of eight at the distance.
While Carvajal Jr. said he is very disappointed that Imperial Hint will not have the chance to shine in this year's Breeders' Cup, he is looking forward to the horse's return to training and hopes to enter him in another race before the end of the year.
"This is a really minor thing, even more minor than if the horse had grabbed a quarter," said Carvajal Jr. "But it's in soft tissue and needs to heal so he will heal in the next two or three days. But I do understand the state vets with how the situation has been playing here in California at Santa Anita. We can't take any chances. Of course I'm upset because I know I had a chance to win this race. The horse trained great at Monmouth Park, he came out of the work great, and I was looking forward to this race, but as the main thing, the horse will resume training as soon as he gets back to Florida and I'm sure he'll run again this year. We will go from there.
"This is not an issue we need to worry about. It's a minor, temporary issue. It's just unfortuante that it happened at the wrong time. He did good today. He walked and ate his breakfast. He will walk again in the afternoon have his lunch and dinner and then he'll go back to Florida Wednesday and we will get back to training."
Other scratches from Saturday's Breeders' Cup card at Santa Anita are listed below, courtesy of Equibase. After these scratches were announced, Bolo was scratched from the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T) at 1:36 p.m.
|Race: 2||Changes||Time Posted|
|#1||Horse Greedy||Scratched - Trainer||12:13 PM ET|
|Race: 3||Changes||Time Posted|
|#10||Gray Magician||Scratched - Veterinarian||12:13 PM ET|
|#12||Real Master||Scratched - Re-entered||12:13 PM ET|
|Race: 5||Changes||Time Posted|
|#13||Girls Know Best||Scratched - Re-entered||12:13 PM ET|
|#14||Double Touch||Scratched - Also-Eligible||12:13 PM ET|
|Race: 7||Changes||Time Posted|
|#3||Fleeting||Scratched - Veterinarian||12:13 PM ET|
|#6||Thais||Scratched - Veterinarian||12:13 PM ET|
|Race: 9||Changes||Time Posted|
|#1||Suedois||Scratched - Veterinarian||12:13 PM ET|
|#15||Caribou Club||Scratched - Also-Eligible||12:13 PM ET|