Mere days before he was set to run in the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, Mutasaabeq suffered a shin injury that will take the Kentucky Derby prospect off the Triple Crown trail.
Trainer Todd Pletcher told reporters the injury – while frustrating for an upper-level Derby contender – isn’t career-ending. He expects Mutasaabeq back by sometime this summer.
The injury apparently happened during a morning breeze this week. Mutasaabeq turned in a half-mile workout at Palm Beach Downs in Florida in 47.37 last Saturday, his final workout before Saturday’s Holy Bull. Mutasaabeq was the presumed favorite for the first graded stakes of Gulfstream’s Derby preps.
On Jan. 2, he captured the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream. That 1-½-length victory propelled the son of Into Mischief into the upper reaches of at least one Derby futures board. He was 80/1 at Circa Sports, but 45/1 at William Hill Nevada. Mutasaabeq was 47/1 on Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager board that closed last Sunday.
Mutasaabeq Proved He’s a Dual-Surface Threat
Mutasaabeq’s Mucho Macho Man victory marked his return to dirt after two turf efforts. The first produced an impressive last-to-first victory in the Grade 2 Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in November. The second was forgettable for the connections of the $425,000 colt: a 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Thus far, Mutasaabeq claims three victories and a third in five career races. That’s good for more than $259,000 in career earnings.
As for Pletcher, Gulfstream’s dominant trainer has the Holy Bull covered. He brings Prime Factor (17/1 Circa, 22/1 William Hill) and Amount (23/1, 40/1) into the Holy Bull starting gate. Those two, and their counterparts, will chase the 10-4-2-1 Derby qualifying points available to the top four finishers.