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Derby Fever: They'll Try Not to Catch It

May 04, 1995|BILL CHRISTINE

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A horse with a cough and fever was removed from a barn at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, raising concerns that nearby Kentucky Derby horses might get sick before the race on Saturday.

Alybro, a horse nominated for Saturday's $200,000 Early Times Turf Classic, had a 102-degree fever and was taken to Lexington, Ky., for treatment early Wednesday, during morning training hours.

Alybro is a stablemate of Talkin Man, one of the favorites for the Derby. Other Derby horses stabled in the same barn include Jumron, Suave Prospect, Dazzling Falls, Lake George, Eltish and Citadeed.

"After what happened in the Breeders' Cup last year, this sends tingles up your spine," said Dave Willmot, one of the owners of Talkin Man. Willmot's colt ran poorly in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs, then was found to have a virus after the race.

"It's there, and there's a concern," Willmot said. "We won't run our horse unless he's 100%."

Both Nick Zito, the trainer of Suave Prospect, and Gary Lewis, who trains Jumron, were worried about their horses.

"It's hard to figure what will happen in the Derby until you see how these horses react to this in the next couple of days," Lewis said.

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