Red Rocks Out of Sword Dancer Stakes
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Man o'War winner Red Rocks is out of the Sword Dancer.
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J. Paul Reddam’s Red Rocks, the 9-5 favorite for the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 16, has been declared out of the race by trainer Mark Henning.

The 5-year-old son of Galileo turned up with a puffy left hock Aug. 14, and when the swelling did not go down Aug. 15 it was decided that he would not run.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s better to have it blow up now than to not know about it,” said Hennig, who gave no indication as to when the horse might return to training.

Red Rocks, winner of the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) in 2006, had been installed as the morning line favorite in an eight-horse field after besting 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin in the July 12 Man O’ War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.

Hennig said Red Rocks would hopefully point to a race in September before starting in this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

With the favorite’s defection, 9-year-old Better Talk Now and last year’s Sword Dancer winner – Grand Courtier – seem likely to receive the most attention from the bettors.

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