Second choice scratched
Bob Baffert is down to one horse for the Kentucky Derby after early 6-1 second choice Hoppertunity was scratched Thursday because of a sore left front foot.
The colt was to have been ridden Saturday by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.
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“Bad news travels fast,” Baffert said outside his barn, where onlookers gathered as word spread around Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. “The horse is OK. He’s just not 100 percent and it’s too close to the race, so I pulled the plug.”
With the scratch, Pablo Del Monte may join the field of 20 for Saturday’s race, and Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia bumped Wicked Strong to a 6-1 second choice.
The Kentucky Derby is the main event, but it’s possible the week’s dominant star turn could come in Friday’s Kentucky Oaks. Untapable is an overwhelming 4-5 favorite in the $1 million stakes for fillies, and the question around Churchill Downs hasn’t been if she’ll win but by how much.
Her trainer, Steve Asmussen, has been here before. In 2009, he watched his filly, Rachel Alexandra, burst onto the national scene with a 20-length victory in the Oaks. Two weeks later, she won the Preakness on her way to Horse of the Year honors.
Doubling down on the girl-power story line, Rosie Napravnik, the nation’s leading female jockey, will ride Untapable.
New Hall of Famer Walter Jones will announce his former team’s second-round draft pick at next week’s NFL draft. Jones spent his entire pro career with the Seahawks. Jones will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 1.
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Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez has been indicted in Fall River, Mass., in an alleged jail assault in February and an alleged threat at the jail last November. Hernandez is being held without bail at the jail after pleading not guilty to murder in the June 2013 death of Odin Lloyd, 27, of Boston.
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U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann intends to call a full complement of 30 players for his team’s pre-World Cup training camp at Stanford University.
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He said some players who are coming back from injuries need to be evaluated.
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