“We're still absorbing the disappointment,” said Baffert. “He's going to be fine, but it's the timing.”
Game Winner posted a six-furlong breeze in 1:12 flat Tuesday at Del Mar, but Baffert said the Gary and Mary West colorbearer was not being his usual self Thursday morning.
“He worked great, but [Thursday] he had a little temperature,” said Baffert. “There's been a little virus going through the barn. He was my second one this week. I hope it stays away from the others.”
Game Winner, who rode a trio of Grade I victories, including a score in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile, to champion 2-year-old male honors at the Eclipse Awards, was winless in his first three starts as a sophomore before dominating the GIII Los Alamitos Derby last out July 13. Baffert said it was uncertain where the colt would run next.
“It's too bad because he couldn't be doing better right now,” the Hall of Fame trainer commented. “I haven't thought about anything now.”