DEL MAR, CA — Unbeaten 'TDN Rising Star' Jack Christopher (Munnings), the 9-5 morning-line favorite for Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Del Mar, was scratched on the advice of the veterinarians at the Breeders' Cup, according to Bradley Weisbord of BSW Bloodstock, who serves as Jim Bakke's racing manager.
“(Trainer) Chad (Brown) called me at 6:00 last night to say he had gutting news. He said, `They're not going to let him run.' I just said, `What's wrong?' and he said, `they said he's got a left shin.' For us, it's shocking because this is a horse we sent to Chad in late June, he's made every work from his race on, didn't miss a breeze, ran at Saratoga, breezed back two weeks later, ran in the Champagne, breezed back two weeks later, and has made every work since then. I've watched every one on XBTV, and then he shipped out here, and galloped four straight days in front of everybody.”
Weisbord said that after yesterday morning's exercise, M.V. Magnier of Coolmore, part of the colt's ownership group, came by to see Jack Christopher at the barn with Aidan O'Brien. “We put him away, thinking we're 6-5 in the Juvenile, and I was with Mr. Bakke last night when we got the call. Obviously, the whole thing is a shocking blow.”
“I've been doing this for 14 years, and you're always prepared for something like this, but you just don't want it to be with your best horse,” said Weisbord. “Your attention turns to the owner, and how quickly they're going to get back to being in this sort of position again. They have 14 or 15 horses, so it's hard. It's hard for the exercise rider, the groom, and everyone who cares so much about the horse.”
Weisbord said that Jack Christopher would be sent back to Kentucky for a thorough veterinary check.
“Obviously, we're trying to process the whole thing now, but we'll get him back to Kentucky to have Dr. Bramlage go over him from head to toe,” he said. “As a racing manager, I do with all of my horses. We turn him out, we'll give him 30-45 days, and start our plans for his three-year-old season. This is a not a major thing. That's the good news here. We'll target Grade I races and we think he'll have a great year.”
The Breeders' Cup announced the scratch on Twitter late Thursday evening, but has not yet issued any further statement. The chestnut, owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud and Peter Brant and trained by Chad Brown, made it two-for-two with an eye-catching win in Belmont's GI Champagne S. Oct. 2. The chestnut brought $135,000 at last year's FTKOCT sale.
Jack Christopher will be fine (L Shin). Gutted for the ownership group led by the Bakke family, Liz Crow, Chad Brown's entire team and Jose Ortiz. After an undefeated 2yo season, and a perfect month of preparation, we all know how hard it is to become a champion. See you in 2022. pic.twitter.com/P2dx8CXaZ3
— Bradley Weisbord (@BradWeisbord) November 5, 2021