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Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s multiple graded stakes winner International Star was a late scratch out of the Kentucky Derby field Saturday morning due to a possible foot abscess developing in his left front, his connections announced.
According to Ken Ramsey, the state veterinarian did not like the way International Star was jogged down the shedrow. When they pulled the left front shoe off, Ramsey said there was “definitely heat” on the inside quarter of the foot.
“There is something brewing in there, probably a bruise or an abscess. As we speak right now he’s standing in tub of hot epsom salts trying to draw it out,” Ramsey said. “It’s nothing major wrong with the horse, I expect he’ll be alright. But this is not a gray area, it’s black and white. He was definitely lame in the front when the shoe came off and he was asked to stand on it barefoot.”
Ramsey said if all heals up well with International Star in the coming days, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus could run in the Preakness Stakes two weeks from now.
Trained by Mike Maker, International Star looked to be the Ramsey’s best ever chance at earning a Kentucky Derby victory. The bay colt swept the trio of prep races at Fair Grounds, winning the Grade III LeComte, Grade II Risen Star and Grade II Louisiana Derby under jockey Miguel Mena – who was set to ride in just his second Kentucky Derby.
International Star did not train at Churchill Downs Thursday in what Maker said was a planned walk down. The colt did gallop strongly on Friday morning.
“I’m devastated,” Ramsey said. “It’s devastating to come this far and see the dream die for another year. It’s rained on our parade but I’ve got a big umbrella and I’m already looking forward to 2016.”
International Star was slated to break from post No. 12. With him out, all others will slide down with no gaps. The rail was already slated to be left open due to the scratch of El Kabeir who was slated to come out of post No. 7. Program numbers do not change.
In addition to International Star, the Ramsey’s Grade I winning mare Stephanie’s Kitten was scratched out of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the undercard. Ramsey said that her scratch was brought on by an “issue” between himself and trainer, Chad Brown, who conditions the daughter of Kitten’s Joy, but would not elaborate on the issue.
Ramsey also scratched Scrumpdilicious and Coalport from the Woodford Reserve as both were expected to be pacesetters for Stephanie’s Kitten. When asked if Stephanie’s Kitten could be in for a possible barn change, Ramsey said “I’m not going to speculate on it. We’re going to discuss that Monday morning.”