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Premier Pegasus Scratched From Santa Anita Derby

Mike Willman, Director of Publicity for Santa Anita Park, confirmed in the press box prior to today’s third race that Premier Pegasus, who was sure to be the heavy favorite, has been scratched from Saturday’s Grade I $1 million Santa Anita Derby.

 

After winning the Grade II San Felipe last month by nearly eight lengths, the three-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus became the top contender coming from the West Coast for the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May.

 

Speculation regarding the horse’s soundness had been prevalent for months due to his spotty work tab, but that seemed to have been put to rest with his emphatic score in the San Felipe.

 

However, PrePeg looked worse than ever while training this week and his camp confirmed today that a hairline fracture in his front left cannon bone will sideline him four months.

 

With 10 horses remaining, the Santa Anita Derby becomes a wide-open affair.

 

Jaycito, making his second start for trainer Bob Baffert, is likely to go off favored after finishing second in the San Felipe.

 

Bench Points and Comma to the Top, 3rd and 4th respectively in the San Felipe, are the next logical contenders, while Steve Asmussen’s Silver Medallion, who has won stakes races on turf and synthetic in his last two, also will take money.

 

As is usually the case, the “other” Baffert, Midnight Interlude, rates a long look as a long shot off an eight and a quarter length maiden breaking victory. He has looked spectacular on the track this week.

 

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @mdoche for much more and visit www.pick4blog.com for daily selections and analysis!

 

To view my horse racing channel on YouTube click here!

 

What the Nation is saying about Premier Pegasus Scratched From Santa Anita Derby...

Thought he was Mo's biggest threat and would've moved him to my number one if he had turned in another nice win. Hopefully he returns.
Fortunately the injury was caught early enough and lets pray for a full recovery.I feel the disappointment of his connections;but hopefully he can make a good recovery and do some great things later.
To me this is more disappointing than any late derby defections of the last few years ... I really believed PrePeg was sitting on a big Spring.
I feel for his connections. So sorry Mr. Cho, Raxon, Maria, et al. He will come back Big & Strong - unbeatable as a 4 yr old!

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Meet Marc Doche

 

As a life long horse racing fan and handicapper, it’s an honor to be joining
Horseracingnation.com to share my knowledge and expertise on a daily basis to horse racing fans.
 
Since the early 1980’s when I visited Santa Anita with my grandfather as a young boy, the track has been in my blood. As soon as I turned 16, I was driving out to the track as much as possible, and with the advent of the self-service machines, was able to wager hassle free.
 
After graduating from UCLA in 2000, I began my career in sports media as a site manager for Athletesdirect.com and a couple of years later became the Media Relations Coordinator for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.
 
In the past few years, I have moved my focus to covering the Sport of Kings and have worked in the early hours to better understand morning workouts and putting the pieces of the handicapping puzzle together.
 
I have also used my journalistic talents to produce video coverage of stakes races in Southern California, as well as interviews with jockeys, trainers, owners and more. I look forward to providing their in-depth insight to you.