Updated: King Guillermo Out Of Kentucky Derby After Spiking A Fever

King Guillermo, 20-1 on the morning line for this year’s Kentucky Derby, will be forced to scratch from the race after spiking a temperature on Wednesday afternoon. According to a tweet from trainer Juan Carlos Ávila Thursday, the colt will instead point for a start in this year’s Preakness if his health is restored.

“First is the health of our King Guillermo,” wrote Ávila. “He will be ready to show that he is one of the best in the country sooner rather than later.”

Ávila thanked the horse’s followers for their support along the Derby trail.

King Guillermo, who is owned by Victoria’s Ranch, comes to the race the runner-up in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, and winner of the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. Samy Camacho has been named as the rider for the son of Uncle Mo.

Speculation as to the horse’s status had swirled throughout Thursday after the colt did not come out to train in the morning as expected. Ávila told media then he anticipated consulting with veterinarians through the afternoon before finalizing his announcement.

“To race in a race like the Derby we need him at 100 percent,” Avila told the Churchill notes team. “We aren’t going to be able to demonstrate how good he is like this. I think we are going to have plenty of time to show his quality. He’s going to be a great horse and everybody knows we have to take care of the horse first. The next step is to try to get him ready for the Preakness and go from there.”

Owner Victor Martinez added, “The sad part is that Juan said yesterday was his best day here. When we left the track in the morning following training and came back in the afternoon for feed time, we discovered he had a fever. It’s just the sad part about this game.”

Prior to the scratch of King Guillermo, the 18-horse field was expected to leave stalls 1 and 20 open on the new 20-horse starting gate. Now, according to Churchill Downs, stalls 1, 2, and 20 will be left open.

The post Updated: King Guillermo Out Of Kentucky Derby After Spiking A Fever appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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