Fort Bragg works June 4 at Santa Anita (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
NYRA Press Office
ELMONT, N.Y.— Multiple graded stakes-placed Fort Bragg, the 5-1 morning-line third choice in Saturday’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens presented by Mohegan Sun, will miss the seven-furlong sprint for sophomores due to illness.
Owned by SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan, Fort Bragg shipped in to Belmont Park Tuesday from his base at Santa Anita Park, but showed signs of illness shortly after arriving, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
“When he got here, the next morning after shipping, he didn’t finish his grain and we checked him and he had a slight temperature,” Baffert said. “When we took his blood, he had an elevated white blood cell count. He’s fine, it’s just bad timing.”
Baffert added the son of Tapit, who finished second in Churchill Downs’ Grade 2 Pat Day Mile after a thrilling stretch duel with General Jim on May 6, will likely be rerouted to the one-mile Grade 3, $200,000 Dwyer on July 1 at Belmont.
Fort Bragg, a $700,000 purchase at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Yearling Sale, is out of the stakes-winning Shanghai Bobby mare March X Press and has amassed $211,300 in earnings through a 7-1-2-2 record.