Revenge Will Have To Wait: Favorite Scratched from Derby

Liam ParkerContributor IMay 2, 2009

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30: I Want Revenge runs on the track during the morning training for the 135th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Mere hours before race time, I Want Revenge has been scratched from the 135th Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Jeff Mullins became concerned with the colt’s left front ankle. The problem, known as a hot spot, is an area of tenderness that could cause the horse troubles during the race. 

With the recent Triple Crown tragedies of Barbaro and last year’s Eight Belles, a harsh spotlight has been shined on thoroughbred racing.

David Lanzman, owner of I Want Revenge, is taking no chances.

"When the word came out that running could hurt the horse, I looked at both doctors and said, then this is no debate," he told the Associated Press. "What are we talking about? We'll fight another day."

This year's Kentucky Derby was already wide open; with the loss of a top favorite, it leaves the door open for any number of horses to achieve Derby glory.

Friesan Fire (2-1) takes over as the race favorite. Pioneer of the Nile (7-2) and Dunkirk (9-2) round out the top three.