By Bill Finley
Expected to be the second choice in Saturday's GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. at Gulfstream, Spun to Run (Hard Spun) will be scratched after an issue with his skin took a turn for the worse yesterday.
The story was first reported by the Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman.
Trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero said that Spun to Run had been dealing with skin issues for “three or four weeks” and was breaking out in hives. He originally thought they wouldn't be an impediment to his horse running in the Pegasus.
“We were training him with the skin issues and he was training really good,” Guerrero said. “He worked really good the other day. It didn't seem to bother him.”
Guerrero said that once the skin problems showed up on Spun to Run's legs, he knew the only option was to withdraw from the race.
“It would kind of go away and then the next day it would pop back up somewhere else,” he said. “The last one was on his legs. The body I could have handled, but not the legs. The legs are for running so I couldn't do it, I couldn't run him. I didn't want to be in any position where he could get hurt. He's too valuable for me to do that. The last thing you want is for him to try to get off one leg and put too much weight on the other. That's how a horse can get hurt. I decided to take him out and live for another day. That's what's best for him.”
Guerrero was clearly upset about the development, saying that it nearly brought him to tears.
“I want to cry,” he said “It's horrible. Gulfstream has been so good to me. I feel bad for them. I feel bad for Javier [Castellano], who took off another horse [Tenfold] to ride him. That's what hurts the most. Gulfstream gave me everything I wanted, they were more than great to me. The race was between our horse and Omaha Beach (War Front). Now it's a whole different race. We just have to move on. Every time I talk about it, I feel like crying, but that's not going to change anything.”
So far as a new target for Spun to Run, Guerrero said he might have his horse ready for a trip to Dubai in March.
“I will go over it with the owner and see what he wants to do. Right now, I don't know. He has lost all his hair and doesn't look like himself. I want to get his hair back normal, make him happy and go from there. The good news is the horse is fine and his skin will clear up. It would have been a lot worse if I ran him and he wound up getting hurt. Then I would really be devastated. He's happy, eating fine and the vet has already started treating him for the skin problem. We should be good.”
Many handicappers believed that Spun to Run was the only horse in the field who could beat Omaha Beach. He scored a decisive win over him in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. After the scratch of Spun to Run, the morning line was adjusted and Omaha Beach was listed at even-money. Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man) is next at 9-2. With no also-eligible list for the race, the Pegasus will now have 11 starters.