Horse Racing: Florida Derby Winner Constitution Injured; Off Triple Crown Trail

Constitution, who demonstrated extraordinary talent by winning the 2014 Florida Derby in just his third career start, will miss the Triple Crown series due to a hairline fracture in his right front cannon bone that was discovered yesterday (Tuesday).

The colt by super-sire Tapit worked a half mile in :50.3 at Palm Meadows in Florida the day before (Monday) but appeared “a little off” right after the work.

“This is one of the biggest disappointments of my career,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “I really feel Constitution was our biggest chance to win the Kentucky Derby since Super Saver. My routine with all my horses is to jog them down the road, and I noticed he was slightly off (Monday). Dr. Yarborough took x-rays that revealed a slight hairline in his shin. Thankfully, it’s nothing very serious, and Constitution will be back to 100% after a little time. The timing is just a real shame for everyone involved, but the Derby doesn’t define a horse’s career.”

Constitution will now be shipped to WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky. to rehab the injury, with hopes of returning to training in 60 days and possible run again later in 2014.

“While we are extremely disappointed to miss the Kentucky Derby, we’re just as excited about the future of Constitution,” said Randy Gullatt, Twin Creeks Racing’s general manager, who co owns the colt. “We think he’s just scratching the surface of his talent.”

Constitution is unbeaten in three career starts.