Derby Hopeful Endorsement Out with Leg Fracture

WinStar Farm's Endorsement has a non-displaced right front condylar fracture and will not be entered for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.

According to Dr. Bo Landry, who radiographed Endorsement following his work, arrangements are currently being made to ship the colt out for surgery. He is expected to be out three to six months.

"We're making arrangements right now to get someone to do surgery on him," said Landry. "When the surgeon goes in there and takes a look at the joint, he'll be able to give a better prognosis."

Endorsement, trained by Shannon Ritter, worked this morning at Churchill Downs, getting a half-mile in :47 2/5. With Ritter aboard for the work, the son of Distorted Humor went in :12 2/5, :24, :35 3/5, and galloped out five furlongs in 1:00, 1:13 3/5, and 1:29.

Ritter said she noticed Endorsement was off while walking back to the barn.

"I was just letting him cool out a little bit, and I didn't even notice it right away until we had been further down the road walking," said Ritter, who was attempting to be the first female trainer to saddle a Derby winner.

"Everything went perfect, he breezed absolutely beautiful, I was really happy with his breeze," she said. "It's obviously very disappointing. It's hard to get to the Derby."

Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm's racing manager, made the announcement outside Barn 19 at around 9:30 a.m. He said they wished to make it as soon as possible as to allow another horse to enter the Derby.

"We've got the post position draw coming up so someone else needs to enter, and we didn't want to hold that up," said Walden.

The draw for the Run for the Roses is at noon today.

Endorsement came to Churchill Downs off a scintillating three-length victory over Conveyance in the $800,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico. Prior to that, the chestnut colt broke his maiden in this third attempt while going 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park.

WinStar, which had four Derby contenders to start the week, is now down to two. Their Rule was withdrawn from consideration Monday.

"It's disappointing for the whole WinStar family, especially disappointing for Shannon," Walden said. "She's done a great job with this horse, and hopefully he'll be back."

WinStar plans on entering the Todd Pletcher-trained Super Saver and the Eoin Harty-trained American Lion.

Out of the A.P. Indy mare Charmed Gift, the colt was bred in Kentucky by Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership.

Originally posted on www.BloodHorse.com.

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