Undefeated Grade 1 winner Nadal, who won a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) for trainer Bob Baffert earlier this month, has sustained a likely career-ending injury that was diagnosed after a workout at Santa Anita Park on Thursday, in a story first reported by Bloodhorse.com.
The injury suffered was reported as a left front lateral condylar fracture, which immediately required surgery.
"He is now going to become a stallion," co-owner George Bolton told Bloodhorse's Bob Ehalt. "It's very sad, obviously. I just got the call this morning. It's a call you never want to get in horse racing.
"He retires undefeated. He retires, thank God, on a soon-to-be recovery. He gave us four great races."
One of the favorites for the rescheduled 2020 Kentucky Derby, Nadal employed a front-running style and had a large frame, which made him an imposing figure on the track.
Baffert, reached for comment after the successful surgery, described the events following Nadal's workout.
"He breezed," Baffert told Horse Racing Nation. "He breezed a half (mile). Everything went well. He came back to the barn and you could tell he was a little bit off. We X-rayed him."
The surgery was performed at Santa Anita's onsite equine hospital.
"He already went to surgery," Baffert said. "They put two screws in it. It looks good."
A perfect 4-for-4 in his career, Nadal earned $1,053,000 from his maiden victory as well as graded stakes wins in the San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita in February, the Rebel (G2) in March at Oaklawn Park and his Grade 1 triumph in one division of the Arkansas Derby on May 2.
By Blame out of Pulpit mare Ascending Angel, a non-winner in 12 career starts, Nadal is owned by Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman and Mark Mathiesen, Nadal was bred by Sierra Farm in Kentucky.
The promising colt was sold twice at auction, fetching $65,000 in the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale, then commanding $700,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale last March.