Derby hopeful Avery Island's injury an 'unusual situation'

Derby hopeful Avery Island's injury an 'unusual situation'
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Kiaran McLaughlin has counted Avery Island out of an anticipated start in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby, but the trainer said Tuesday there’s room to be hopeful in news that the colt will be evaluated this week after showing lameness following his most-recent workout.

The recent Grade 3 Withers Stakes winner was on his way Tuesday from Florida to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, where Dr. Larry Bramlage will look over the 2018 Kentucky Derby hopeful.

“We’re just not sure he’s sound,” McLaughlin said. “Obviously, something happened in the work for him to be lame right after it. That’s as far as I can say. He’s going to get a full workup from Dr. Bramlage tomorrow morning. They’ll figure it out.”

McLaughlin called it an “unusual situation,” given Avery Island appeared fine going five furlongs last Friday at the Palm Meadows Training Center in 1:01.15. And now, “We don’t see much wrong with him.”

So, there’s the hope.

“A little bit,” McLaughlin said.

The Godolphin homebred holds 14 qualifying points toward the Derby and will need more to make it to the starting gate if able to run again before the first Saturday in May. Saturday, April 14, marks the final weekend of preps with Oaklawn Park’s Arkansas Derby and Keeneland’s Blue Grass Stakes.

In addition to the Withers win in his 3-year-old debut, Avery Island took the Grade 2 Nashua and ran second in the Grade 2 Remsen as a juvenile. The Louisiana Derby was to be his final start before the May 5 Kentucky Derby.

McLaughlin also trains Enticed, another owned by Gololphin who punched his Kentucky Derby ticket by winning last Saturday's Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. The son of Medaglia d'Oro will most like run next in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial back in New York.


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