Multiple Grade 2 winner BUDDY'S SAINT (Saint Liam) is off the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail after an ankle chip was discovered following a workout at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, trainer Bruce Levine told The Blood-Horse.
"He really didn't work that well this morning, and when he came back he started walking a little bit off and it got progressively worse," Levine said. "We X-rayed him and found the chip in his ankle."
The chip was discovered in his right front ankle after the colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01 1/5 on Gulfstream's fast main track. Levine was pointing Buddy's Saint for the Wood Memorial (G1) on April 3 with the hope he could rebound off a horrific run in the February 20 Fountain of Youth S. (G2) and make it to the Kentucky Derby.
Winner of the Remsen S. (G2) and Nashua S. (G2) as a juvenile, the bay colt endured a nightmare trip when making his three-year-old bow in the Fountain of Youth. Forced to take up sharply, he was knocked into the rail going into the clubhouse turn and never recovered, finishing far back in ninth.
"I've never had a horse of that nature, like a top three-year-old, but believe me he was a top horse," Levine said. "He was doing things despite being so immature that you just knew he was going to keep getting better. It's unbelievable.
"The prognosis is good. He just needs some time. We'll probably do surgery soon and give him 60 to 90 days off, and then start him back and see what we can get out of the fall and go from there. It's been fun. Everybody wants to run in the Derby, but they don't all make it."