ARCADIA, Cali. — Grade I winner Graydar was declared out of Friday's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile after a quarter crack in his left front hoof was discovered early Monday morning.
The 4-year-old colt was expected to have been one of the favorites in the Dirt Mile after winning the Grade II Kelso Stakes last month at Belmont, his third win in as many starts this year.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said the son of Unbridled's Song would now be pointed for the Grade I Cigar Mile at Aqueduct November 30. The colt had previously been sidelined nearly six months after having a chip removed in his left ankle following his win in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap on March 30.
"We're disappointed," Pletcher said. "Graydar had been training extremely well and I thought we got the perfect comeback effort from him in the Kelso."
Guillot sorry — sort of
Seated on opposite ends of the table at the post-position draw press conference, trainer Eric Guillot formally apologized to Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas for accusations Guillot made after Lukas' Will Take Charge defeated his trainee Moreno in the Grade I Travers Stakes in August.
Guillot accused jockey Luis Saez of using an illegal electrical device on Will Take Charge in the stretch, but the New York State Gaming Commission found no evidence to support the claim.
"I formally apologize, my emotions got the best of me," Guillot said to Lukas. "I tried to apologize to (Saez) this morning but his agent got ignorant with me. I thought the coincidences looked obvious ... but I'd do it all over again."
Lukas accepted the apology saying, "It's time to turn the page."
Paynter, Beholder put in final moves
Shortly after dubbing Game On Dude's five-furlong work "perfect," trainer Bob Baffert watched his other Classic contender Paynter put in his final serious work.
Zayat Stables' Grade I winner and fan favorite went five furlongs in company with stablemate Flashback, staying in front of that one while covering the distance in 1:00 flat.
Paynter's Breeders' Cup presence is remarkable regardless of result as the 4-year-old son of Awesome Again nearly died last year during a battle with colitis.
"I'm not a big miracle guy but this horse, what he went through, it's amazing," Baffert said. "If he were a human, he'd be a big, obnoxious, tough bully-type linebacker. That's what kept him fighting."
Champion Beholder continued to tout herself in advance of her expected run in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, working four furlongs in 49.20 Monday. The 3-year-old daughter of Henny Hughes bested older girls in the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28 and won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies over this main track in 2012.
Defending Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned drilled five furlongs in 1:01,80 at Churchill Downs Monday morning, his last move before shipping to California on Tuesday.