Kentucky Derby Points Leader Nadal Retires After Leg Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

HOT SPRINGS, AR - MAY 02:  Jockey Martin Garcia rides #5 Nadal down the stretch to the win during the 84th running of The Arkansas Derby Grade 2 at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort on Derby Day during the Covid-19 Pandemic on May 2, 2020 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby qualifying points leader reportedly will not have the opportunity to compete in the sport's most famous race.

On Thursday, Bob Ehalt and Byron King of BloodHorse reported Nadal was retired because of a left front lateral condylar fracture.

The horse, trained by Bob Baffert, is undefeated with four victories as a three-year old, including wins at the Rebel Stakes, one of the divisions of the Arkansas Derby and the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.

"It requires two screws," co-owner George Bolton told BloodHorse. "He is now going to become a stallion. It's very sad, obviously. I just got the call this morning. It's a call you never want to get in horse racing."

The injury was discovered after the colt worked a half-mile Thursday at Santa Anita Park.

"He retires undefeated," Bolton continued. "He retires, thank God, on a soon-to-be recovery. He gave us four great races."

This is another blow for Baffert, who is eyeing a record-tying sixth Kentucky Derby victory this year at the race that was rescheduled for Sept. 5. According to Joe Drape of the New York Times, Charlatan and his stablemate Gamine tested positive for lidocaine at a meet at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.

Both horses are trained by Baffert, and Charlatan is widely regarded as one of the top contenders to take the Belmont Stakes on June 20—though the horse's status could be affected by the positive test. Thanks to the schedule changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Belmont Stakes kicks off the Triple Crown pursuit this year.

Charlatan won a division of the Arkansas Derby on May 2.