Catesby W. Clay's Bourbon S. (G3) hero ROGUE ROMANCE (Smarty Jones) has sustained a slight heel bruise and will miss his scheduled workout this weekend as well as his intended start in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 26, his connections announced on Thursday.
Trainer Ken McPeek reported that the colt, bred by Clay in partnership with the Clay family's Runnymede Farm, is walking sound but is somewhat sensitive on the problem foot.
Fortunately, the bruise is not expected to impede Rogue Romance's status for the Kentucky Derby (G1), and Clay and McPeek currently are reviewing options such as the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and the $750,000 Blue Grass S. (G1), both on April 16, for a final prep race.
"This is a minor ailment that will heal with a minimum amount of treatment," Runnymede General Manager Martin O' Dowd said.
"We're thankful it is not a serious setback, just a deviation from our original plans as we act in the horse's best interest."
Rogue Romance has won two of five career starts and has placed twice with his only unplaced effort a fourth in his career debut. The chestnut out of the farm's late outstanding producer Lovington (Afleet) won the Bourbon on turf at Keeneland last fall before finishing third to champion Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Churchill Downs.
In his reappearance, Rogue Romance rallied for third in the February 19 Risen Star S. (G2) at Fair Grounds. He currently ranks sixth on the Kentucky Derby graded earnings list with $288,000.
Rogue Romance, who closed at odds of 34-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, has been installed at 30-1 in Pool 2, which opens at noon (EDT) Friday and runs until 6 p.m. Sunday.