Undefeated Personal Ensign, who would have been the favorite or second choice in Saturday's $1-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Santa Anita, has been scratched from the race because of a training injury suffered Sunday in New York.
Personal Ensign, whose only two starts resulted in a 12 3/4-length win against maidens and a victory by a head over Collins in the Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 13, has a broken pastern bone, which is just above the hoof, in her left rear leg. She will undergo surgery Wednesday, and it is questionable whether she will ever be able to race again.
The loss of Personal Ensign will result in Sacahuista being the favorite in the Juvenile Fillies. Sacahuista, who might have been favored anyway, won the Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita Oct. 5. The 1 1/16-mile Oak Leaf is the same distance as the Juvenile Fillies and Sacahuista is one of only four fillies in the 14-horse field that have already won going that far.
With Personal Ensign out, Coakley, who had been on the also-eligible list, will now be able to run Saturday. The rest of the field includes Anything for Love, Brave Raj, Fantasy Cat, Polonia, Prankstress, Ruling Angel, Saro's Brig, Silk's Lady, Tappiano, Taxpayer's Folly, Very Subtle and Zero Minus.
Personal Ensign, who is by Private Account out of the Hoist the Flag mare, Grecian Banner, worked five furlongs Sunday morning at Belmont in 1:00. It was to be her last workout before the Breeders' Cup, with plans having been made for her flight from New York to Los Angeles today.
"She went very easy in the work," trainer Shug McGaughey said by telephone from Belmont. "And she came back from the track perfect. She cooled out all right, but then, 30 minutes later, she was dead lame in her stall. We took X-rays immediately and they showed the break."
The veterinarian who read the X-rays said that he had never seen a break like Personal Ensign's before.
"The crack is clean, but it's not down the front of the pastern, it's a side-to-side split," McGaughey said. "Naturally, I'm awful disappointed. This was a filly who had an awful lot of talent."
Two years ago, Folk Art, another 2-year-old filly who was expected to be favored in the Breeders' Cup, missed the race due to injury, shortly after she had won the Oak Leaf.
McGaughey has three other horses running in this year's Breeders' Cup and they are scheduled to be flown to Los Angeles today. Polish Navy, undefeated in four starts and winner of the Cowdin and Champagne at Belmont, will run in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile; Duty Dance is set for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf; and Classy Cathy has been supplemented at a cost of $120,000 so she can run in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Super Diamond, who would have cost his owners $360,000 to supplement him into the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic, won Sunday's $124,000 Goodwood Handicap by 2 lengths over Epidaurus, with Prince Don B. finishing third.
The win, which came in Super Diamond's first start since the 6-year-old gelding won the Hollywood Gold Cup in July, was his fourth in seven starts this year. Super Diamond, paying $4.20 as the favorite, ranged not far behind Epidaurus most of the way and easily passed him in the stretch.
Super Diamond, ridden by Laffit Pincay, had an excellent winning time of 1:41 1/5 for 1 1/16 miles, running only a second slower than the track record.
Horse Racing Notes
Turkoman, in his last work prior to running in the Breeders' Cup Classic, went six furlongs in 1:10 3/5 Sunday morning at Hollywood Park, with Pat Day aboard for the first time. Day will ride Turkoman in the Classic, replacing the injured Chris McCarron. "He went a little faster than I wanted, and Pat didn't think he was going that fast, but I'm pleased," trainer Gary Jones said. . . . Mountain Bear, who was pre-entered in two Breeders' Cup races and probably would have run in the $1 million Mile, has been declared out because of a slow-healing abscess in her foot. . . . Dancing Brave, winner of the Arc de Triomphe as well as eight of nine career starts, reached Santa Anita Sunday morning after a 12-hour trip from England Friday and a stay in quarantine at LAX. Dancing Brave, who will be favored in the Turf Stakes, is expected to be on the course this morning. . . . McCarron and Terry Lipham, who were injured in the same spill on Oct. 16, have been released from the hospital and are recuperating at home.