Foot Injury Could Keep Rip Van Winkle Out of Breeders' Cup

Coolmore and trainer Aidan O'Brien took a chance by entering only Rip Van Winkle in the Breeders' Cup Classic, despite the colt's history of foot problems. They now could wind up without a horse in the race if Rip's most recent setback proves serious enough to force his withdrawal.

O'Brien told the Racing Post Tuesday, "This horse has had no clean run this year and he hasn't had one this time. The problem is again a foot problem but this time a different foot is affected."

Rip Van Winkle is the overwhelming 6-4 favorite with William Hill and Coral. O'Brien said Rip Van Winkle will go to the track on Wednesday, after which they will determine the extent of the injury.

"With Rip Van Winkle it's always been day by day," O'Brien said. "What he's done up to now I've been amazed that he's been able to do."

Rip Van Winkle came down with a stone bruise bruise prior to the 2,000 Guineas, but made the race. He came down with a hock problem before the Coral Eclipse Stakes, but ran a strong second to Sea the Stars. He injured a hind foot prior to the Sussex Stakes but won the race convincingly. Now he is faced with yet another injury to overcome.

Coolmore had been pointing Mastercraftsman for the Classic as well, prepping him in the 1 3/16-mile Diamond Stakes on the all-weather track at Dundalk, which he won easily after coming from 20 lengths back. But they decided just prior to entry day to run him in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. offers extensive online coverage of the Nov. 6-7 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita in California.

About the Author

Steve Haskin

Steve Haskin is Senior Contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine, sister publication to The Horse.

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