On Thursday, May 2nd, 2019, reports surfaced that Haikal was questionable to participate in the Run for the Roses as the bay colored colt had an abscess on his left front hoof. The horse’s trainer, Kiaran P. McLaughlin, had to make a decision whether or not to scratch Haikal by Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at 9 am. McLaughlin mentioned Thursday afternoon that they would reevaluate Haikal early on Friday, and if he was unable to train on Friday morning they would officially scratch the horse before the deadline set by the Kentucky Derby mentioned above.

Haikal’s left front hoof was analyzed Friday early morning, and the colt’s foot was too sore to run or train in any capacity so the decision was made to scratch Haikal from the main event of the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The timing of this injury just couldn’t come at a worse time for anyone involved with this beautiful horse, but in the sport of Thoroughbred racing, the health and well being of the animal comes before anything else.

The Injury:

The injury that Haikal was diagnosed with is an abscess in the left front hoof of the horse. This occurs when bacteria enter through a crack, puncture wound, or a horseshoe nail that is driven in too close to the sensitive hoof tissue. The bacteria simply causes an infection that can be very painful for the horse causing the animal to limp or have mild lameness in the affected leg where the abscess is located.

The Treatment:

In order to treat the infected area of the horse, they often allow the abscess to rupture and begin draining fluid from the injury. The process usually takes about 3 days in which the horse will start feeling immediate relief and less pain after fluids leave the infected area. It will then require another 7 – 10 days for it to heal up completely.

Epsom salts are added to warm water until they no longer dissolve and begin falling to the bottom of the bucket creating a supersaturated salt water solution. The horse’s hoof is then gently placed into that bucket so that the water is completely covering the coronary band for approximately 10 – 20 minutes at a time while the animal stands there quietly.

After which the abscess packed with clean gauze and is carefully bandaged up with a sanitary bandage wrap. The horse is then placed into a dry small area like a clean stall or a medical paddock. This procedure will continue until the hole is dry and the lameness is gone. Antibiotics can be also provided to the colt to aid in the healing of the infection.

(In other words, the poor guy will be okay.)

Statement from Trainer:

“We put shoes back on him this morning and jogged him and he was still not 100 percent,” says McLaughlin in a press release from Churchill Downs.

“… The horse always comes first. He will head home today to Shadwell and live to fight another day.”

“It’s just terrible timing,” exclaimed McLaughlin this morning. “It’s a situation that will correct itself and is similar to Omaha Beach. You feel bad for the connections. Just bad timing — that’s all.”

“It’s tough for the whole team, His Highness and everyone involved, especially with being a homebred who was training so well.,” says McLaughlin. “We’ll have to see what else there is now (race-wise) after he recovers.”

Second Horse Scratched within 2 days of the Race

Haikal is the second colt to call it quits for the 2019 Kentucky Derby. On Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 Omaha Beach, who was originally the favorite to win the Race for the Roses, was scratched due to a respiratory illness. More specifically Omaha Beach has an entrapped epiglottis which blocks the horse’s airway and prevents it from breathing properly. This colt will undergo a surgical procedure, and is expected to make a full recovery, and be back to 100 % in 2 – 3 weeks from now.

Changes to the 2019 Kentucky Derby

With the 2 horses, Omaha Beach and Haikal, being scratched from the main event of the Derby, several aspects of the race have been altered to make the necessary accommodations.

The horse Bodexpress will replace Omaha Beach and there is no replacement for Haikal so the field will have a total of 19 horses running as opposed to the usual 20 that participate in the Run for the Roses. This is the first time since 2015 that the field has been reduced to under 20 Thoroughbreds. In 2015 18 horses ran the muddy track of Churchill Downs.

The legendary hall of fame jockey, Mike Smith, was originally set to mount Omaha Beach. Now that Omaha will not run, Mike Smith will now ride the horse trained by Todd Pletcher, Cutting Humor, and replace the jockey Corey Lanerie. Although this is unfortunate for Lanerie Big Money Mike, as they call him, he has been too successful as a jockey in horse racing racebooks to be left out of the 2019 Kentucky Derby.

New Post Positions

1. War of Will
2. Tax
3. By My Standards
4. Gray Magician
5. Improbable
6. Vekoma
7. Maximum Security
8. Tacitus
9. Plus Que Parfait
10. Cutting Humor
11. Code of Honor
12. Win Win Win
13. Master Fencer
14. Game Winner
15. Roadster
16. Long Range Toddy
17. Spinoff
18. Country House
19. Bodexpress

New Odds

These are the new odds for the 2019 Kentucky Derby according to MYBOOKIE.

• WAR OF WILL +1600
• TAX +2000
• VEKOMA +1800
• TACITUS +600
• WIN WIN WIN +2000
• SPINOFF +2200