Arkansas Derby winner Danza, who was most recently third in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the Belmont Stakes after trainer Todd Pletcher said he was dissatisfied with how the colt emerged from his 4-furlong workout on Sunday at Belmont Park.
“Danza worked very well, but I wasn’t totally happy with the way he looked this morning,” Pletcher said in a news release. “He had a hard race in the Arkansas Derby and came back three weeks later for the Kentucky Derby. He has acted well in the two weeks since the Derby, but I just sensed he wasn’t 100 percent after that breeze."
Pletcher said Danza would be sent to Payton Training Center in Ocala, Fla., “for some diagnostics and time off.”
Danza won the Grade I Arkansas Derby in what was just his fourth career start and rallied to finish third in the Kentucky Derby after getting bumped by stablemate Vinceremos early in the race.
“It’s disappointing to be knocked out of any race, let alone a classic, but the horse must always come first,” said Aron Wellman, president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which owns Danza.
“We were certainly looking forward to the opportunity to take on a stellar cast of sophomores in the Belmont Stakes, but we’re confident that by continuing to do right by Danza, he will continue to reward our partners with world-class performances on the racetrack.”
A chestnut son of Street Boss, Danza has not been worse than third in five career starts.