Cupid to Miss Kentucky Derby but Shooting for Preakness Stakes
Cupid, the gray Tapit colt who finished a disappointing 10th as the betting favorite in the Arkansas Derby, has been ruled out of the Kentucky Derby following surgery for an entrapped epiglottis. Trainer Bob Baffert withdrew Cupid from Derby consideration clearing the way for Mo Tom into the Derby field at No. 20 on the qualifying points leaderboard. The Kentucky Derby field is limited to 20 starters.
Cupid underwent surgery April 18 to clear the passageway in his throat at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Lexington, Ky. The issue is not considered serious. Baffert said Cupid “should be OK in a week” and would head to Churchill Downs later this week and be based there for the time being. Baffert said if Cupid recovers quickly from the surgery, he would be pointed to the Preakness Stakes May 21.
Cupid emerged as a top Kentucky Derby contender after a wire-to-wire victory in the March 19 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs.
Cupid is one of the best-bred 3-year-olds of this class, as evidenced by his $900,000 purchase price at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. Both of the colt’s victories have come at 1 1/16 miles even though he hails from a female family slanted heavily toward speed. But Cupid is by Tapit, who is, of course, North America’s two-time reigning leading sire. The stallion, who has never sired a Derby winner, is also likely to have multiple Grade 2 winner Mohaymen and Group 2 U.A.E. Derby winner Lani in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Unfortunately, we won’t see Cupid running at Churchill Downs May 7, but a quick recovery and racing fans may get another peak of Cupid at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes.