Despite weeks of speculation, concerns about an entrapped epiglottis will prevent Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird from entering the Grade I, $1 million Shadwell Travers race at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, Aug. 29.
We've decided to err on the side of caution and pass this race up and aim down the road to the Breeders' Cup, trainer Chip Woolley said in a statement Wednesday morning. "There's one little spot underneath the epiglottis pushing up just a tiny bit and after studying and looking at it, we're going to hold off and make sure the horse is okay and not take any chances with the rest of his career."
The entrapped epiglottis was discovered after a workout on Aug. 17, and the horse was transported to Long Island for surgery the following day. An examination Wednesday morning showed a small enlargement of the area that doctors said is normal, but the Mine That Bird's owners and trainers are playing it safe by giving the horse more time to rest.
"It's probably not a problem, but we don't feel comfortable taking a chance," said Woolley. "It probably would have no bearing on the race but we don't want to do anything that might jeopardize his future."
No specific plans were outlined for where Mine That Bird might make his next start, but his connections said they would consider the Grade 1 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita on October 10 with the November 7 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita the gelding's primary objective.
Without the entry of Mine That Bird, a field of seven is expected for the Travers: Charitable Man, Hold Me Back, Kensei, Our Edge, Quality Road, Summer Bird and Warrior's Reward.""