MAXIMUS RULER (Roman Ruler), runner-up behind Ron the Greek (Full Mandate) in the January 23 Lecomte S. (G3) at Fair Grounds, will not run in Saturday's Risen Star S. (G2) after coming up with a slight injury following a breeze Sunday morning at the New Orleans oval.
"He didn't want to place his right hind foot down toe to heel when he was being walked yesterday afternoon," trainer Clark Hanna said Monday morning. "Usually, he walks very forwardly, but when we took his shoe off his foot seemed to be a little sensitive.
"We took some pictures and they came back clean, so we gave him some hot water therapy and some anti-inflammatory medication to take the soreness out, and he seems to be much, much better this morning. Now, we're going play things by ear, and evaluate him for a few days. We'll see how he does with no medication over the next 24 to 48 hours to make sure he's okay.
"I just don't feel comfortable running him back this weekend," Hanna added. "This is the best horse I've had in my lifetime and I don't want to ruin him. My best educated guess right now is it's only a stone bruise and he'll be fine, but he'll have plenty of other opportunities."
Maximus Ruler, who would have been one of the favorites in the Risen Star, finished third by a neck in his maiden debut at Churchill Downs on November 14 and returned two weeks later to break his maiden in an allowance at the same venue. He made his seasonal debut in the one-mile Lecomte, finished second to Ron the Greek by 1 1/2 lengths after leading through the opening seven furlongs.
Maximus Ruler, who sports a record of 3-1-1-1, $53,890, closed at 76-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager on Sunday.