December 6, 2021

Malagacy, Battalion Runner out of Derby; Lookin at Lee, Sonneteer now in

Malagacy remained unbeaten in three starts when taking his stakes debut in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, March 18, 2017 (c) Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography

Trainer Todd Pletcher announced Saturday that Rebel (G2) winner Malagacy and Wood Memorial (G2) runner-up Battalion Runner had been withdrawn from Kentucky Derby consideration.

Malagacy did not work Friday or Saturday with his stablemates, while Battalion Runner, who covered four furlongs in :48.20 on Friday, “wrestled with the track,” according to Pletcher. He said the work, done in company with the stakes winner Made You Look, was just “OK.”

The defections of these two colts leaves Pletcher with three likely Derby entries: Florida Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, Tampa Bay Derby (G2) hero Tapwrit, and TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) runner-up Patch.

Malagacy and Battalion Runner’s removal from the Derby picture enables two others to enter it. Grade 1-placed stakes winner Lookin at Lee, most recently third in the Arkansas Derby (G1), can now make the field, while graded-placed maiden Sonneteer is expected to join fellow Calumet Farm homebreds Hence and Patch in the Derby.

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