I Want Revenge Scratched From Derby

I Want Revenge, the morning-line favorite for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), was scratched after a filling was discovered in an ankle on the day of the race.

It is the first time in Derby history (that anyone could research) that the morning-line favorite was scratched the day of the race.

The soft tissue injury was discovered the morning of the race. Foster Northrup, DVM, watched as I Want Revenge jogged on the blacktop, and "he jogged fine," the equine practitioner said at a press conference. But, "the inflammation was there.

"He X rayed normal and the ultrasound was normal," Northrup said. "There is no diagnosis at this time. More sophisticated tests will need to be done."

I Want Revenge is still on the grounds at Churchill Downs.

The son of Stephen Got Even had won his last two starts impressively, the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and Gotham Stakes (gr. I). He had a bullet work on April 28, but a physical problem has forced him to be withdrawn from the race.

Bred by David Lanzman, I Want Revenge is owned in partnership by Lanzman, IEAH Stables, Puglisi Racing, Charles Winner, Michael Dubb, and Steven Marshall. I Want Revenge is trained by Jeff Mullins and was to be ridden by 19-year-old jockey Joe Talamo.

"They gave me their opinion of what was best for the horse. At that point, there was no debate (about scratching)," Lanzman said. "I'm glad the horse is okay."

"Your biggest dream is to get here. Your biggest nightmare is to get here and scratch," Mullins said.

Less than two weeks ago, favoritism in the Derby appeared to be between Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Quality Road and I Want Revenge. Now, neither Quality Road nor I Want Revenge will run, with Quality Road battling quarter-crack problems.

In the advance wagering on-track May 1 for the Derby, Friesan Fire was the pick at 9-2.--Ron Mitchell and Dan Liebman

(This article first appeared on Bloodhorse.com.)

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