Multiple Grade I winner Sassy Image has been taken out of consideration for the Grade I, $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint after a chip in a hind ankle was discovered following her most recent work on Oct. 8 at Churchill Downs.
“She’s a filly that has always moved perfectly and the next morning (Oct. 9) when we saw that she was a little off we knew that something was wrong,” said trainer Dale Romans, who conditions the filly for his brother Jerry.
Sassy Image, a 4-year-old daughter of Broken Vow, had been given some time away from the track after tearing her left front quarter in a sixth-place finish as the favorite in the GI Ballerina at Saratoga, a race in which she leapt at the break and then bolted on the final turn. Her four-furlong breeze on Oct. 8 was clocked in :48.60, the fifth fastest of 38 at the distance over a fast Churchill Downs track. “She appeared to come out of it fine,” Romans said.
The injury to Sassy Image is a major disappointment for Romans, who was looking forward to running the filly in the Filly & Mare Sprint over her favorite surface. Sassy Image has compiled a record of 5-0-1 in six starts beneath the Twin Spires, including victories in the GI Humana Distaff, GII Golden Rod, GIII Winning Colors and GIII Pocahontas.
“This has made me sick,” Romans said. “You have to enjoy the high points in this game because there are going to be a lot of disappointments.”
The injury will knock Sassy Image out of this year’s Breeders’ Cup; however, she will still be offered at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Nov. 6 as a racing/broodmare prospect. “If the new owners wanted to remove the chip then she could probably come back next year,” Romans said. She will be consigned by Romans Racing & Sales, as agent, and will sell as Hip 17.
Horses in the Romans barn that are still on track for Breeders’ Cup bids include Shackleford, who is scheduled to breeze for the first time Saturday (Oct. 22) since a second-place performance in the GII Indiana Derby, Dullahan, winner of the GI Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland, will also breeze Saturday morning for the Juvenile or Juvenile Turf, Court Vision, who came out of his Oct. 15 work in good order and is on track for the Mile and Me and My Gals, a 2-year-son of Sky Mesa who worked a “bullet” five furlongs Monday in 1:01 in preparation for the Juvenile Sprint.