Hoppertunity out of Kentucky Derby with sore foot

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bob Baffert is down to one horse for the Kentucky Derby after early 6-1 second choice Hoppertunity was scratched Thursday because of a sore left front foot.

The colt was to have been ridden Saturday by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

“Bad news travels fast,” Baffert said outside his barn, where onlookers gathered as word spread around Churchill Downs. “The horse is OK. He’s just not 100 percent and it’s too close to the race, so I pulled the plug.”

Baffert first noticed something wasn’t quite right on Wednesday, when Hoppertunity took a few steps. The inside quarter of his left foot was sore, so part of his shoe was cut off. As the colt walked to warm up, he didn’t appear bothered. But Baffert decided to scratch him anyway.

Hoppertunity will have a full scan Friday to eliminate any other possible problems than a sore foot, which will be soaked.

In a bit of gallows humor, Baffert joked, “We missed a Hoppertunity.”

He said the colt could return in time for the Preakness on May 17.

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia revised the Derby morning line odds, although California Chrome remained the favorite at 5-2.

Wicked Strong, the colt named for the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, replaced Hoppertunity as the early second choice at 6-1.

Arkansas Derby winner Danza and Intense Holiday were installed as the co-third choices at 8-1. Tapiture was made the fifth choice at 12-1.

The odds for Candy Boy were lowered to 15-1 from 20-1. Louisiana Derby winner Vicar’s In Trouble, to be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, dropped to 20-1 from 30-1.

Smith will still be busy on Derby day, riding in seven of the 13 races on the card.

“I could still have a pretty good day,” he said. “I’d rather lose it this way than something happen on the track.”

The scratch moved also-eligible horse Pablo Del Monte into the maximum 20-horse field. However, the 50-1 shot would have to start from the No. 20 post position. It wasn’t immediately known if Pablo Del Monte’s owners want to start under that condition.

More in Sports

Everett Memorial Stadium’s baseball field converted to turf

The Mariners, Everett School District and others had to sign off on switch to an artificial surface.

Pair of UW starters to miss remainder of season

Washington’s Trey Adams and Jordan Miller are out for the year with leg injuries.

Seahawks’ Bennett to join NFL’s meeting on social change

Tuesday’s meeting will involve league owners, union leaders and a handful of players.

Stanwood’s Phillips commits to wrestle at North Carolina

The 2-time state champion and 4-time national champion competed at the Cadet Worlds last summer.

Yankees beat Houston 8-1 ALCS Game 3

Judge, Frazier homer as New York thumps Astros

Cubs’ Maddon bristles at criticism of bullpen management

Chicago enters Game 3 down 2-0 to Dodgers

Prep athletes of the week for 10/9-10/14

Volleyball Hailee Blau, Oak Harbor Blau, a senior right-side hitter, had 33… Continue reading

BLOG: Silvertips take day off in preparation for Wednesday

The Everett Silvertips had a well-deserved day off Monday after returning Sunday… Continue reading

Q&A with Edmonds-Woodway’s Nick Berni

The Warriors’ top tennis player is hoping for a return to the 3A state tournament.

Most Read