McGaughey: Carter Handicap favorite Performer scratching

McGaughey: Carter Handicap favorite Performer scratching
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Grade 3 winner Performer, thought to be on the cusp of a potential breakout season beginning in the Carter Handicap (G1), will scratch from Belmont Park's feature.

Trainer Shug McGaughey delivered the news during a conversation on the Horse Racing Radio Network's Equine Forum.

Performer was a slight 3-1 favorite on the morning line in a race loaded with older horses going seven furlongs. The Phipps Stable homebred, also campaigned in partnership by Claiborne Farm, has won four straight races, capping last season with a victory in the Discovery Handicap (G3).

RELATED: Expert Carter Handicap picks

McGaughey had Performer set to run in the Carter when the race was originally scheduled for early April at Aqueduct. Postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the race was brought back at Belmont and now offers a "Win and You're In" spot to the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

McGaughey will still be represented with a major entry Saturday when Code of Honor stars on Belmont's Westchester Stakes (G3) going 1 1/16 miles in his 4-year-old debut. Meanwhile, the likes of Firenze Fire (7/2), Vekoma (7/2) and Mind Control (4-1) will vie for post time favoritism in the Carter.

McGaughey said Performer won't be sidelined long with a minor issue.

2020 Carter Handicap (G1)

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