DEL MAR, Calif. — Triple Crown winner Justify has been retired from racing because of fluid in his left front ankle.
Trainer Bob Baffert and Justify’s owners made the announcement Wednesday. They said caution over his ankle condition made it impossible to tell if Justify would be healthy enough to race by the fall.
The goal was for Justify to run in a major race this summer and be pointed toward the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. He was taken out of training earlier this month because of swelling in his ankle.
Justify won all six career starts, becoming the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to capture the Kentucky Derby after not racing as a 2-year-old. He won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes to become the 13th Triple Crown winner and second in the past four years.
Baffert says it’s his responsibility to make sure Justify was perfect to race again in the fall but couldn’t promise that. Justify is expected to return to WinStar Farm in Kentucky next month.
ARCADIA, Calif. — Jockey Rafael Bejarano rode his 4,000th career winner at Santa Anita.
He guided filly Portal Creek to a 3 }-length victory in the third race Saturday for trainer Bob Hess Jr.
The 36-year-old Peruvian jockey says Santa Anita has always been a special place for him. He won six races at the Southern California track in his first day riding there on April 8, 2006.
Bejarano came to the U.S. in 2002 after training at a national riding academy in Peru. He led the U.S. in victories with 455 in 2004.
He has career purse earnings of $200,611,833 and five victories in the Breeders’ Cup.
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Maximum Security will race this weekend for the first time since being disqualified in the Kentucky Derby.
The Jason Servis-trained colt was among six 3-year-olds entered Thursday for the $150,000 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on Sunday.
The 1 1/16-mile race in New Jersey will be the first in more than two months for Maximum Security. The colt galloped 1 1/8 miles here Wednesday.
In the Derby on May 2, Maximum Security got to the finish line 1}-lengths ahead of Country House. The victory was overturned 22 minutes later when the stewards disqualified the 9-2 second choice because of interference with eventual Preakness winner War of Will and other horses.
It marked the first time in the 145-year history of the Derby that the first-place finisher was disqualified for interference.