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What's Wrong With Morning Line?

Trying to make sense of Morning Line’s disappointing last-place finish in Saturday’s Whitney, a glum Nick Zito said the 4-year-old Tiznow colt will undergo some testing and then would probably be sent to owner Will Farish’s Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky for further evaluation.


“Obviously, he’s not the same horse,” said the Hall of Fame trainer of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap winner, who pressed Friend Or Foe through six furlongs before giving way and finishing 11th, nearly 28 lengths behind Tizway, in the 1 1/8-mile Whitney. “We’re all disappointed, the stable’s all disappointed. I hate to use the word embarrassed, I’ve never used that word in a horse race. But he’s not the same horse.


“What’s upsetting to me is, I know how good the horse is,” he continued. “He had five great races in a row, from the Pennsylvania Derby on. And the Carter was spectacular. And then, he lost the last race, the Monmouth race, and now this situation. I thought when he was laying with Friend Or Foe and Tizway was breathing down his back, he was going to go, and when he didn’t, I was, like, ‘What?’ If he were the same, he would have at least been second.”


Morning Line’s Carter was fifth in a string of impressive performances that began with his victory over First Dude in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, a second to Dakota Phone in the 2010 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, a third in the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope behind Soaring Empire and a second to Giant Oak in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap this year, earning Beyer Speed Figures in excess of 100 for each.


“After the Carter, he joined us at Churchill, and he had a nice work under Julien [Leparoux],” said Zito. “Then he came up with a foot issue, we X-rayed him, and we thought we were getting by that. We went to Monmouth [fifth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Salvatore Mile on July 2] and obviously he’s not the same since that issue.”


Zito said Morning Line would likely be X-rayed this week, and if there are no changes, he would be sent to Lane’s End.


“I mean, that’s the best farm in the world, and maybe they can further evaluate him, take him to Dr. [Larry] Bramlage and see what he says,” said Zito. “He’s obviously not right. We have to figure out what is it. I know they’ll make a good decision.”




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Older Comments about What's Wrong With Morning Line?...

Morning Line runs hard every race and gets within 2 ticks of 1:.48.00 every time at 1 1/8. Thats as fast as he can go! He needs a rest.
Hope he can make a healthy return to the races.

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