The Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) lost another candidate June 23 as Team Valor International and WinStar Farm's Gouverneur Morris has been diagnosed with colitis that is expected to sideline him for a couple of months. The 3-year-old son of Constitution is being cared for at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center and is responding to treatment after being shipped there June 22.
Gouverneur Morris, who is grade 1-placed at 2 and 3, became ill Monday after being treated in a hyperbolic chamber at Fair Hill for a leg infection.
"He did not look good at all. He had diarrhea, his color was off and his heart rate was elevated," Team Valor CEO and founder Barry Irwin said. "He was diagnosed with colitis, which can be very bad, but so far he is holding his own. Hopefully, within four-to-six days he can leave there, but this will knock him out and he will need a couple of months off."
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Gouverneur Morris has won two of five starts and earned $247,500. Third in a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) in his last start, he had been 13th on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 34 points.
Prior to his recent health setbacks, he had been pointed toward the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland July 11.
The illness continues a roller coaster period for Team Valor, which started June 18 when their 4-year-old group 1 winner Technician suffered a career-ending bowed tendon while racing in the Gold Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot. Two days later, the partnership's Oleksandra rallied from eighth to win the six-furlong Jaipur Stakes (G1T) against open company at Belmont Park in a time of 1:06.80.
"It's been a crazy week," Irwin said. "We lose one horse, then we win a grade 1 and then this happens with Gouverneur Morris. It's been up, down, up, down. At least the stars were in alignment for Oleksandra. From the quarter pole to the eighth pole, she went :10 4/5. You can't go much faster than that."