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Horse taken out of Derby after minor muscle pull

By BRANT JAMES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Karma might have cost the Kentucky Derby a second starter Saturday morning when trainer Bob Baffert announced Danthebluegrassman was scratched because of a pulled muscle.

The unheralded son of Pioneering was entered in the last minutes before the post draw Wednesday, bumping Team Valor's Windward Passage because he had more graded earnings.

After a routine morning jog and bath in the low 50s temperatures, Danthebluegrassman looked "a little short from behind," Baffert said.

He was diagnosed with a minor pull that usually clears up in a few days with muscle relaxers.

Baffert said his owner, Mike Pegram, "took it well," but said he was not going to be the one to break the news to Dan Chandler, the oldest son of former Kentucky governor A.B. "Happy" Chandler and the inspiration for the colt's name.

"Dan's going to be upset," Baffert said. "He had about 50 tickets and a whole bus coming."

BURN OUT: Jockey Pat Day was one of many bemoaning pace and placing as he evaluated Blue Burner's 11th-place finish.

"He was aggressive going under the wire the first time and more forwardly placed than we would have liked. We were right behind Came Home going around the first turn and up the backside.

"We were not able to tuck in as I anticipated. We really thought we would be near the rear of the field and be able to angle in and save some ground. At the half-mile pole, everybody started to pick it up, and he did not respond."

Blue Burner was the only Florida-bred in the race.

MOVE: Stewards moved horses 1 through 9 one spot to their right with the scratch of Buddha on Friday.

They did so to make the race more fair for inside horses considering the large field (19 at the time of the scratch.)

OTHER STAKES: D'Wildcat won the Grade II Churchill Downs Handicap, a $150,000, 7-furlong test for 4-year-olds and up, when D. Wayne Lukas' Snow Ridge was taken down to second after an objection by jockey Kent Desormeaux. Stewards moved up D'Wildcat, who was second by a neck, after agreeing Mike Smith had made contact with his whip. ... Holiday Runner came from off the pace to go 2-for-2 in his career with a victory in the $100,000, 5-furlong Three Chimney's Juvenile. ... Stylish won by 11/4 lengths for Bill Mott and The Thoroughbred Corp. in the Grade III, $100,000 Distaff Turf Mile.

REMEMBER ME: Danny Hutt proclaimed in the week before the Tampa Bay Derby that the 3-year-old colt he co-owns and trains, Bunk N Ted, would be the favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

In his first start since finishing fifth, 9 1/2 lengths out in that race, Bunk N Ted went off as one of the favorites in the 6 1/2-furlong second race at Churchill Downs but finished sixth against older competition.

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