Due To Knee Injury, Locked Will Miss Triple Crown

Locked | Sarah Andrew


'TDN Rising Star' Locked (Gun Runner), the winner of last year's GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, has come down with a knee injury that will prevent him from running in the upcoming Triple Crown races. The injury is not considered career-threatening.

The news of his injury was first reported by David Grening of the Daily Racing Form.

Aron Wellman, the managing partner of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, the co-owners of Locked, described the injury as “a very minor ligament fray in the upper part of the left knee.”

Locked was first expected to make his 3-year-old debut in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 10, but missed that race due to a fever. Plan B was to run in last Saturday's GII Coolmore Fountain of Youth S. at Gulfstream but he was scratched by trainer Todd Pletcher, who was concerned with the way the colt trained the morning of that race.

“The morning of the Fountain of Youth, he didn't train like he normally does,” Wellman said. “He had trained exceptionally well in the weeks leading up to the Fountain of Youth. It was just that morning. It's a tribute to Todd's sharpness and his team for picking up on it. Any other trainer, he probably would have run. With Todd's attention to detail we weren't comfortable sending him over for the Fountain of Youth.”

On Monday, the colt was sent to Dr. John Madison in Ocala, who detected the injury.

“We trained him the day after the Fountain of Youth and he was better, but considering his profile and importance we decided not to take any chances,” Wellman said. “We sent him to Ocala and thanks to the state-of-the-art technology that exists now, they found the problem. No surgery will be required. He just needs time to let it reattach and heal, which is unfortunate because we're off the Classic trail. At the same time, we're thankful to Todd and his team for detecting it early enough so that this horse will still have a future. We're thankful to the vets up in Ocala, including Dr. Madison, who ran him through a body of tests. In the grand scheme of things we were fortunate because they are now able to detect injuries like the one he had. That couldn't have been done in the past.”


Wellman said the goal now will be to make the major 3-year-old races run in the summer, including the GI Travers S. at Saratoga.

After winning the Breeders' Futurity, Locked ran third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The Fountain of Youth was to be his 3-year-old debut.

“Anybody who is in this game is in it with the dream of having a legitimate contender for the Kentucky Derby and the Classics,” Wellman said. “Locked fit that profile to a tee. We've been fortunate enough to have some legitimate Derby contenders in the past. I was fortunate to be part of the team with Animal Kingdom and Team Valor and we had some other horses who ran respectably in the race. But I don't know that we ever had a horse before who came into their sophomore season with the credentials and the profile that Locked had. We were really confident and had huge convictions that we had the right type of horse to really be effective in the Kentucky Derby at a mile and a quarter. Absolutely, this is a punch in the gut.”

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