Black Onyx scratched from Derby
Sterling Racing's Black Onyx was scratched from Saturday's Kentucky Derby because of a non-displaced chip in his left front ankle, trainer Kelly Breen said when he met with the media in The Parlay briefing room Friday afternoon. The scratch officially had been announced by Churchill Downs officials about one hour prior at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
"We noticed a little swelling in the ankle this morning, previous to training," Breen said. "It brought major concern right away. He went out, he trained, he did gallop. He came back and was, say, a one out of five lameness."
X-rays were scheduled for after training hours, shortly before the 9 a.m. scratch time deadline. A scratch announced before 9 a.m. would have allowed also-eligible Fear the Kitten to draw into the field.
"He actually looked pretty good training this morning," Breen said. "But he was, just like anyone else, having a bad day, whether he wrenched his ankle or slept on it wrong, just like we all do. But the filling after he was done training warranted the X-rays that resulted in the finding of a non-displaced chip."
Jockey Joe Bravo said he never noticed anything amiss while he was aboard for the colt's two previous works.
"I'm just very thankful that the horse is going to be OK," Bravo said. "Maybe it's a blessing in disguise."
Breen was not yet sure whether the chip would require surgery but expected a more complete prognosis by the end of the day.
"He's not feeling that bad because he just tried to bite me," Breen said.
Black Onyx, winner of the Spiral last time out, will remain in Kentucky for the foreseeable future.
Kentucky Derby pools opened Friday morning at 9 a.m. All wagers involving Black Onyx, who was number 1 and pegged at 50-1 on the morning line, will be refunded.
Churchill Downs stewards decided the first stall in the starting gate will remain open, as opposed to moving everyone in one spot. So the remaining 19 horses in the Derby field will start from the post positions they drew in Wednesday's post draw.
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