According to a report from Bloodhorse.com, Secret Circle, the winner of the Southwest and Rebel Stakes, will miss up to four months with a sesamoid injury. This was confirmed to Bloodhorse.com by co-owner Mike Pegram today.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Secret Circle had just finished a well-beaten second place to stablemate Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby last Saturday, Apr. 14.
In that race, Secret Circle positioned himself at the top of the stretch like a threat to Bodemeister, but faded to barely hold on for second place once Bodemeister hit the high gears to win by 9.5 lengths.
The injury was discovered two days after the race and was confirmed today.
Secret Circle is a son of Eddington out of the mare Ragtime Hope and has won four stakes races in his career, including last year's inaugural Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint, and was 10th on the graded earnings list for the Kentucky Derby.
He has a lifetime record of 7-5-2-0 and career earnings of $1,018,990
His next race was going to be the Kentucky Derby, but now it's uncertain when he will be able to come back. With four months out, he will most likely return to light training by the end of the summer, and it's difficult to envision any kind of late year run at the Breeders Cup.
With his defection from the Top 20 in the graded earnings list, now that makes it two officially out of consideration for the Kentucky Derby. On Sunday, it was confirmed by KentuckyDerby.com that trainer Aidan O'Brien will not bring Wrote (IRE) to Churchill Downs.
That means that two of the Top 10 horses in earnings are out. Consider also that Hero of Order is basically out of consideration, since he was not nominated to the Triple Crown. It would require a $200,000 supplement and cannot get into the Derby field ahead of any original or late nominees.
This would make three defections from the latest Top 20 list, and that automatically would bring in Rousing Sermon (21st), Mark Valeski (22nd) and El Padrino (23rd). Reveron (24th) and Isn't He Clever (25th) are on the bubble right now, on the outside looking in.
There is still a strong possibility that Trinniberg (18th) would be taken out of consideration. And there are two more horses, Liaison (15th) and Rousing Sermon (who just got in), that are pending until their workouts in the next week before their connections take a final decision.
This leaves Optimizer (25th) and Castaway (26th) with the possibility they can also get in if the defections continue.
But trainer Bob Baffert doesn't want to wait for all this to happen and he has Castaway participating in the $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes this coming Saturday. If he wins, he will earn the $120,000 purse that goes to the winner and would have more than enough graded earnings to be in the Top 20 now.
Then we would start recalculating and shuffling to see who is in and who's on the bubble and so on. Fun isn't it?
And it will keep getting better.