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Top Kentucky Derby contender Nadal fractures leg, retires
- HORSE RACING, Nadal, the undefeated 3-year-old and leading contender for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5, suffered a condylar fracture to his left foreleg after completing a workout Thursday morning at Santa Anita and has been retired from racing, according to co-owner George Bolton.

Nadal worked a half-mile in 48.80 seconds on Thursday in preparation for a start in the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 20.

Afterward, at the barn, trainer Bob Baffert noticed Nadal was off and X-rays revealed the fracture.

Nadal immediately underwent surgery to insert two screws to stabilize the fracture, according to Bolton.

传奇sf“We’ve already done the surgery. He’s back in his stall, he looks good,” Baffert said.

Baffert said Nadal, who won all four of his starts including a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, could come back to race because the injury was non-displaced, but Bolton indicated that he planned to retire the horse.

传奇sfFollowing the Arkansas Derby, Bolton said he had a stud deal “with racing rights with Spendthrift Farm. Obviously, that’s still in the pole position,” Bolton said.

“I’m so happy he got the résumé he got. He’ll have a nice stallion career,” Bolton said. “I’m very sorry we didn’t get to go after the reverse Triple Crown. I was always going to know that no one would forget my year.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Triple Crown series has been rearranged. The Belmont Stakes, shortened to 1 1/8 miles, is now the first leg on June. 20. The Kentucky Derby was rescheduled for Sept. 5 and the Preakness is now Oct. 3.

Nadal, a son of Blame, was purchased by agent Kerri Radcliffe for $700,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream 2-year-old in training sale in 2019. He raced for a partnership that included Bolton, Barry Lipman, Arthur Hoyeau, and Mark Mathieson.

Nadal, named after the tennis star Rafael Nadal, won his debut going 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 19 at Santa Anita, earning a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.

He then won the Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita before shipping to Oaklawn, where he won the Grade 2 Rebel on March 14. On what was supposed to be Kentucky Derby Day, May 2, Nadal won a division of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, demonstrating the ability to sit off another horse and be successful.

Said Bolton: “My parents are literally crushed. I’m trying to pick everybody up off the floor. Life goes on, man. This is what I do, buy expensive horses, they get hurt, [stuff] goes wrong. My mother’s like, ‘It’s the worst news I’ve ever gotten.’ She said, ‘You can’t do this to me, I’m already depressed.’ ”

Baffert said he’s not sure if he will run Charlatan, another undefeated 3-year-old, in the Belmont Stakes or the Woody Stephens at seven furlongs on the same card.

“I’m going to let Charlatan tell us,” Baffert said. “I backed off him thinking Woody Stephens. The team, we’re going to sit down and talk about it. They wanted to run in the Woody Stephens. We have that option with him.”

Nadal was the top-ranked contender on Daily Racing Form’s Derby Watch.

传奇sf–additional reporting

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