Kentucky Derby winner Country House has been sent to the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington, Ky., to get a full workup after becoming ill earlier this week and being taken out of consideration for the Preakness Stakes, and will now certainly bypass the Belmont Stakes as well, his trainer, Bill Mott, said Friday.
“We sent him to the clinic to get thoroughly checked out,” Mott said. “He’ll have a tracheal wash, they’ll make sure he’s being treated with the proper antibiotics, make sure whatever bacteria is in there is being properly dealt with. He seems to be responding well. It’s not an emergency. We just wanted to get him over there and get him examined.”
Mott said Country House will focus on a summer and fall campaign once he’s ready to go back into training.
“My gut feeling was that he wasn’t going to make the Belmont, and now we know to put that out of our mind,” Mott said.
“He’s going to miss a week, or two weeks of training, and even if you put him back in training right away, it’s a rush, and we don’t have to rush. He’s a May foal. He’s accomplished a lot. There’s a lot of nice races the second half of the season.”
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