LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It was just announced to the press box here at Churchill Downs that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards report that No. 12 International Star has been scratched from today’s Kentucky Derby. Post positions No. 1 and No. 20 will be left open (no horse) and all others will slide down with no gaps. Program numbers do not change.
The field is now down to 18 runners with the late defections of No. 7 El Kabeir yesterday and International Star this morning. International Star did not come out to train on Thursday morning and questions surrounding his status started to surface last evening.
International Star was one of three New York-breds in the race and swept the three prep races at the Fair Grounds in Louisiana. This Derby field has now suffered three scratches over the past three days allowing No. 21 Frammento into the race when No. 11 Stanford scratched prior to the 9 a.m. deadline yesterday. As advance wagering started at that time Friday morning, the last also eligible Tale of Verve was left on the outside looking in.
UPDATE: Owner Ken Ramsey confirmed that the scratch was due to a foot issue.
“The state vet got there this morning to check him out and did not like the way he jogged down the shedrow," said Ramsey. "Our blacksmith took the left-front shoe off and there was definitely some heat on the inside quarter of the left-front foot. Something’s brewing in there, probably an abscess. There’s nothing major wrong with the horse whatsoever. We think we’ll probably have him ready to come back for the Preakness but time will tell."
“It’s a devastating blow to come this far. I thought I had a decent shot at winning the race. But it happened to A.P. Indy and a lot of other horses before,” said Ramsey.
We'll have more details later in our live blog from the Kentucky Derby here at the Sports, Ink blog and follow me along on Twitter (@EquiSpace).