The Blood-Horse reported Sunday that Norfolk (G1) winner JAYCITO (Victory Gallop), whose road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) has been compromised by a hoof bruise, will be forced to miss the 137th Run for the Roses.
A distant runner-up to the sidelined Premier Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus) in the March 12 San Felipe S. (G2) in his reappearance, Jaycito developed the hoof bruise a couple of weeks later. Although the Bob Baffert trainee was able to record a six-furlong work in 1:13 2/5 at Santa Anita on April 2, he exited the drill with tenderness in the foot.
Baffert decided to scratch him from the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (G1) and aim for this past Saturday's Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland. Yet Jaycito has yet to turn in a timed work, and the back-up plan didn't come to fruition.
"He's not 100 percent," owner Ahmed Zayat told Steve Haskin of The Blood-Horse, "and neither Bob nor I would ever run a horse just for the sake of running.
"I believe he's a true mile and a quarter horse and he would have shined, but the Derby is not the end of the world. I want to have a sound, healthy, and fit horse the rest of the year and we want to have a lot of fun with him."
"He's moving forward and the foot is finally healing, but there is no way I can have him ready to be competitive enough to win the Derby," Baffert said.
Jaycito will now point for the June 11 Belmont S. (G1).
Zayat has another Derby contender in Nehro (Mineshaft), a hard-charging runner-up in both the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Arkansas Derby (G1).