Caddo River out of Kentucky Derby field due to infection

Kentucky Derby hopeful Caddo River gallops on the track at Churchill Downs. April 21, 2020 Aj4t4250

Caddo River was withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby field due to an infection, trainer Brad Cox said Sunday.

Cox said the Smarty Jones Stakes winner was unwell Saturday and that blood work displayed signs of an infection in addition to the high temperature. The Kentucky Derby is Saturday at Churchill Downs.

“He had elevated temps yesterday afternoon,” Cox told reporters on Sunday morning. “We wanted to pull blood work this morning and just see where we were. It was off a little bit, the blood work. His white count is off. It’s high. Obviously, it’s not the right decision to run him on Saturday. We just backed off of him a little bit. We’ll regroup and hopefully, back to the track in a few days.”

Caddo River opened eyes with January’s runaway win in the Smarty Jones Stakes and a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby earlier this month.

Cox has two other horses in the race: early favorite Essential Quality and Mandaloun.

Caddo River’s departure opens a spot in the field for Brooklyn Strong, provided the horse can reach the Kentucky Derby grounds in Louisville by the required 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Brooklyn Strong is based in Pennsylvania.

–Field Level Media