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Favored Sky Mesa Scratches

October 26, 2002|Bill Christine

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — The 19th Breeders' Cup lost a showcase horse Friday when Sky Mesa was scratched from today's $1-million Juvenile at Arlington Park.

Sky Mesa, who runs for the same team -- owner John Oxley and trainer John Ward Jr. -- that won the 2001 Kentucky Derby with Monarchos, was undefeated in three races and was the 3-1 morning-line favorite. Ward said that the well-bred son of Pulpit and Caress, who cost Oxley $750,000 at a yearling auction, suffered what appears to be a sprained right front ankle.

Ward wasn't sure when the injury occurred. Sky Mesa returned to the barn in good order from a gallop Thursday morning and appeared to have no problems late Thursday night.

"The best part of it is that there is no evidence of a ... fracture," Ward said.

Vindication, one of three horses running for trainer Bob Baffert, becomes the Juvenile favorite.

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-- Bill Christine

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