Grade 2 Rebel Stakes winner Secret Circle is out of the Kentucky Derby with a sesamoid injury, according to the Blood-Horse. The Bob Baffert pupil was most recently a distant runner-up to stablemate Bodemeister in last Saturday's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.
Secret Circle "came out of the race a little crabby," Baffert told HRTV Thursday, adding that the colt was undergoing tests at a Lexington, Kentucky, clinic.
Those tests revealed a sesamoid injury that will sideline Secret Circle for as long as four months, co-owner Mike Pegram told the Blood-Horse.
"It's a sesamoid problem but we got lucky because he won't need surgery," Pegram said. "I honestly think he had a chance (in the Derby). I know a lot of people didn't think so, but any time you're five-for-seven and have made a million dollars you're a legitimate horse."
Secret Circle was unbeaten at two, highlighted by scores in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint and Jack Goodman Stakes. A close second in his first two-turn tilt in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, he took his game on the road to Oaklawn Park and promptly regained the winning thread. Secret Circle won the first two legs of the track's graded series for three-year-olds, the second division of the Grade 3 Southwest and the Rebel, but failed to complete the sweep in the Arkansas Derby.
Baffert still has two other Derby candidates -- Bodemeister, who might have catapulted into favoritism off his Arkansas Derby romp, and Grade 1 CashCall Futurity winner Liaison, who has been disappointing at Santa Anita this meet.
Another high-profile Baffert sophomore, Drill, excels going shorter and has been removed from Derby consideration.