DECLAN'S MOON OUT OF DERBY WITH INJURY.Byline: Jerry Antonucci Special to the Daily News
ARCADIA - The path to the Kentucky Derby is long, winding and extremely treacherous.
Declan's Moon, undefeated in five races and the early favorite for the Run for the Roses, careened off that road Friday when trainer Ron Ellis revealed that the gelded geld 1
tr.v. geld·ed or gelt , geld·ing, gelds
1. To castrate (a horse, for example).
2. To deprive of strength or vigor; weaken. son of Malibu Moon has a hairline fracture hairline fracture
A fracture in which the fragments do not separate because the line of break is so fine. Also called capillary fracture. of the left knee and will be out of training for at least 60 days.
That means Declan's Moon not only will miss the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby The Santa Anita Derby is an American Grade 1 thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds run each April at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California and carries a purse of $750,000. on April 9, but also the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 7.
``The weather finally caught up with us,'' a disheartened dis·heart·en
tr.v. dis·heart·ened, dis·heart·en·ing, dis·heart·ens
To shake or destroy the courage or resolution of; dispirit. See Synonyms at discourage. Ellis said from his Hollywood Park barn Friday morning. ``This is a concussion injury, the kind horses get when they have to train on racetracks that have been sealed to protect them from all the rain we have had this winter. (Santa Anita track superintendent) Steve Wood did a great job on the main track. It's not his fault. It's just one of those things that happen to horses.''
On Wednesday, Ellis felt some heat in Declan's Moon's knee and had X-rays taken, which showed not only the hairline fracture, but also a nondisplaced chip that has not separated from the bone.
Declan's Moon will undergo another series of X-rays next week to determine if surgery is required. The injury is not career-threatening, but the horse won't race until at least September.
``The chip hasn't broken off yet, but if we continued to train, we'd be risking cartilage damage and that could end his career,'' Ellis said. ``I've had three veterinarians Veterinarians and veterinary surgeons (vets) are medical professionals who operate exclusively on animals. Well-known and notable veterinarians include:
``If Declan's Moon were a colt, he could maybe win the Santa Anita Derby and then we would retire him to stud. But since he's a gelding gelding
castrated male horse. , we plan to run him for a long time. He'll be out for a couple of months, but he will race again.''
Declan's Moon won four races in 2004, including the Del Mar Futurity The Del Mar Futurity is an American Thoroughbred horse race held annually at Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California. Beginning in the racing season of 2007, this race has been upgraded by the American Graded Stakes Committee from a Grade II event to a Grade I. , the Hollywood Prevue Stakes and the Hollywood Futurity, to earn an Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old colt or gelding.
``The injury is really unfortunate,'' said Ellis, who attended Monroe High of North Hills. ``You only get one shot at the Derby, and this shows how difficult it is. Everything must go perfectly. It's a tough game, this Derby business.'' Declan's Moon is owned by the father-daughter team of Mace and Samantha Siegel. He was purchased as a yearling yearling
an animal in its second year of age, e.g. yearling cattle, yearling filly, yearling colt.
rinderpest in wildebeeste in the Serengheti. for $125,000 and has earned $627,300.