Hoppertunity scratched from Kentucky Derby

(Reuters) – Hoppertunity, one of the favourites to win tomorrow’s 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, has been scratched from the race because of a minor injury.

The colt’s trainer Bob Baffert withdrew the horse from the $2.2 million classic on Thursday morning after he noticed some discomfort with his left front hoof. Baffert said the injury did not appear serious and the three-year-old may still compete in the Preakness Stakes on May 17, the second leg of U.S. racing’s Triple Crown, but he was skipping the Kentucky Derby as a precaution.

“Yesterday, he had an issue with his foot after the work,” Baffert told reporters. “I didn’t feel good about it.

“Hopefully, he’ll feel better. I want to get him in the Preakness.”

Hoppertunity had been listed as the 6-1 second favourite behind California Chrome for Saturday’s race. His place in the field will be filled by Pablo Del Monte, a 50-1 longshot. As the first alternate, Pablo Del Monte will automatically start from widest post in the 20 horse field.

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