Texas Red, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November, was officially declared off the Kentucky Derby trail Tuesday.
In a statement posted on the Texas Red Facebook page, his connections wrote:
"Considering the best interests of the horse and his long-term welfare, the connections of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red have decided to remove him from consideration for the Kentucky Derby. We feel we do not have adequate time to prepare Texas Red for a prep race that he would need to get in condition for, and attain adequate points for, a Derby start.
"We look forward to bringing him back to the races when he is ready to compete once again at the highest level, and hope to again share his talent and brilliance with racing fans throughout the country."
Texas Red had been sidelined since emerging from his second-place finish in the San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 1 with a foot abscess. The bay son of Afleet Alex was sent to Premier Equine Center in Oakdale, about five hours north of Santa Anita in California's Central Valley, to recover from the abscess and returned to trainer and co-owner Keith Desormeaux two Sundays ago.
Texas Red did put in a workout this past Saturday, covering 4 furlongs in 51.40 seconds as Desormeaux held out hope of making either the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 4 or the Grade I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on April 11.
Owned by a group that includes Desormeaux, Erich Brehm, Wayne Detmar, and Lee Michaels, et al, Texas Red has won two of six career starts with $1,232,300 in earnings. He made a last-to-first rally to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by 61/2 lengths, but now becomes the third consecutive Juvenile winner to not make the Kentucky Derby, following Shanghai Bobby in 2012 and New Year's Day in 2013.
The last time the Juvenile winner ran in the first leg of the Triple Crown was in 2011. Hansen then finished ninth in the 2012 Derby.