Chelokee, third-place finisher in the Florida Derby, will not run in the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Michael Matz made the decision despite a strong gallop by Chelokee yesterday at Keeneland.
The trainer who saddled Barbaro to win last year's Kentucky Derby, said Chelokee would work over Keeneland's Polytrack surface today or Sunday and then board a van on Sunday for a trip home to Maryland.
Chelokee might not have qualified for the Derby because of insufficient earnings in graded-stakes races, but Matz was also concerned about some minor setbacks that had affected Chelokee's training.
"I think we've basically kind of given up running in the Derby," Matz said. "As much as I'd like to go, I don't think he's going to be the way I came into the Derby (with Barbaro) last year."
Matz said Chelokee might benefit from a little more time, so he and Centennial Farm have decided to look at a possible bid for the May 19 Preakness.
Opening of Churchill's wagering service delayed
Churchill Downs' new account-wagering service, TwinSpires (www.twinspires.com), will not open when the Spring Meet does today.
Vernon Niven, Churchill executive vice president and president of TwinSpires, said there was a problem with the online registration process.
"We hope to have this issue resolved ... prior to the upcoming Kentucky Derby and Oaks at Churchill Downs," Niven said.
Oklahoma tribe cut off
Less than 10 days before the Kentucky Derby, Oklahoma casinos owned by American Indian tribes learned they would have their simulcast signal from Churchill Downs blocked, meaning they might not be able to take bets on the Derby.
The Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association exercised its right under federal law to prevent a signal being sent from a Kentucky racetrack to an out-of-state location.
Marty Maline, the Kentucky HBPA's executive director, told The Courier-Journal on Wednesday that the action was taken because Oklahoma tribal casinos no longer compensate Oklahoma horsemen for bets on simulcast races that are made at the tribal casinos.
Churchill Downs Spring Meet
Dates: Today-Sunday, July 8. No racing on April 30 or May 6-8. Dark on Mondays and Tuesdays following Derby Week and on May 30. Live racing on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28.
Gates open: 11 a.m.; Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days, 8 a.m.
Post times: 12:45 p.m.; Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days, 11 a.m.
AFTER DERBY WEEK
Gates open: 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays; 1 p.m. on Fridays; 11:30 a.m. on weekends.
Post times: 1:15 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, weekends and holidays. 2:45 p.m. on Fridays
$2 clubhouse and grandstand, $1 senior citizens and Twin Spires Club members; children ages 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Oaks Day general admission is $25; Derby Day general admission is $40.