Following a disappointing eighth-place effort in Saturday's Blue Grass (G1), AIKENITE (Yes It's True) will run back in the $200,000 The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial S. (G3) at Churchill Downs on April 24, Dogwood's President Cot Campbell announced Wednesday. The Kentucky Derby (G1) had already been ruled out for the multiple Grade 1-placed colt.
"Our colt's reversal of form in the Blue Grass has made the Kentucky Derby an illogical move, but we are -- after exhaustive post-race tests that show the colt to be in perfect health -- going to draw a line through the Blue Grass and wheel Aikenite back in the one mile Derby Trial Stakes," explained Campbell. “The Blue Grass was puzzling in that three of the favorites ran in the last three spots. The horse that won it, Stately Victor (Ghostzapper), a 40-1 shot, had been defeated by Aikenite by seven lengths in their only previous encounter.
"The synthetic tracks have proven to be unpredictable in form and for all of these reasons we're going to 'throw the race out,' regroup, and go again -- although without any thoughts of the grueling Kentucky Derby on May 1," Campbell added.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Aikenite has earned $254,750 in seven lifetime starts -- with a win, a second and two thirds.
"The Blue Grass is the only truly bad race Aikenite has run," Campbell stated, "and we're certainly not giving up on him."