Last year's Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. III) winner was wide on both turns of the one mile and 70-yard allowance/optional claiming test on the inner dirt track.
After the race, owner Team Valor International sent out a press release on Twitter with jockey Junior Alvarado saying the 4-year-old colt sounded like he was having trouble breathing throughout a fifth-place finish, in which he was beaten six lengths. Alvarado said the noise was unusually loud—enough so that other riders asked him about it afterward. Went the Day Well was unsteady while gasping on his way back to be unsaddled, according to Alvarado.
A post-race examination showed that the colt has early signs of paralysis in his left vocal cord, according to the release. The New York-bred allowance race was Went the Day Well's comeback after he missed the second half of 2012 to recover from bone bruising in his front ankles, discovered after a 10th-place finish in the Preakness. He was a troubled fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Went the Day Well had been characteristically unimpressive in his morning training this winter for trainer Graham Motion, just as he was last year leading up to the Derby. But he had never made any noise that would indicate a breathing issue, the statement said.
"We'll have to wait about 10 days and then breeze him back with dynamic scope equipment to get a clearer picture of what we're dealing with," said Team Valor CEO Barry Irwin.
A dynamic scope allows the throat to be videotaped while a horse is at full speed, since many breathing conditions are only induced under strenuous exercise.