Mo Donegal Sidelined With Bone Bruising
Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) winner Mo Donegal exited the 1 1/2-mile race June 11 with bone bruising and will be out of training for 60 days, co-owner Donegal Racing announced July 2. Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said the injury will prevent Mo Donegal from running in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup at Keeneland. "He's definitely out of the Breeders' Cup. With 60 days off, sometimes you need 120 to get him ready. There are no firm plans yet. We'll take a deep breath and re-evaluate everything and see what we might possibly point for," Pletcher said. "He wasn't moving the same coming out of the (Belmont), so they sent him for evaluation and found bone bruising, which is common." Jerry Crawford, CEO of Donegal Racing, and co-owner Mike Repole of Repole Stable indicated they will share Mo Donegal's progress as the colt continues to be evaluated. Mo Donegal is currently the top-ranked 3-year-old in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's weekly poll in a wide-open division that saw three different horses win the legs of the Triple Crown. The break from training will further keep him out of the Aug. 27 Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, a race that along with the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup races in November, is among the most influential stakes in determining championship honors. A 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo, Mo Donegal has won four of seven starts while earning $1.5 million, including victories in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at 2, this year's Wood Memorial Stakes Presented by Resorts World Casino (G2), and the Belmont. He was a slow-starting fifth behind Rich Strike when breaking from the inside post in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) between those two victories. In taking the Belmont, Mo Donegal scored by three lengths over the filly Nest, a stablemate of Mo Donegal. Nest resumed breezing July 1 for Pletcher, working a half-mile over Belmont Park training track in :51.06. Mo Donegal has not breezed since the Belmont.