Mastery completed dominated the Grade 2 San Felipe to stay undefeated and stamp himself the early favorite for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
The Bob Baffert trained colt toyed with his rivals, taking pace pressure for the first 5-6 furlongs of the race, then shook off Gormley and Lliad to open up a clear lead and win throttled down by Mike Smith.
The early Derby favorite role was short lived. Shortly past the wire (no pun intended) Mike Smith felt something off in the colt’s hind leg and quickly pulled him up and dismounted. Credit Mike with preventing further injury and maybe even saving the colt’s life with his heads up move.
As things turned out the horse walked into the ambulance, and seemed fine back at the barn, but quickly showed signs of an injury, and was found to have a condylar fracture in his left front. It is questionable if he runs again.
He’ll have two screws surgically implanted on Monday. The owners, trainer, and rider all immediately shifted their Derby dreams to concern for the colt’s welfare and recovery. Things are just fast in this game. It is not for the faint of heart.