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The Pamplemousse is scratched from Santa Anita Derby

April 4, 2009 | 10:29 am

The Pamplemousse, the early morning favorite for today's Santa Anita Derby, has been scratched. Trainer Julio Canani confirmed the scratch this morning but refused to discuss the reason.

"He's fine, but we'll relay what happened in the next couple of days," Canani said.

Rick Arthur, the equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board, said the track vet, Dr. Jill Bailey, found "an issue" of concern in checking out The Pamplemousse and brought it to the attention of Canani, who called his own vet. After discussion, Canani decided to make the scratch pending further review of the issue.

"The scratch was done to protect the horse and make sure everything is all right," Arthur said.

The scratch makes Pioneer of the Nile the clear favorite for the Santa Anita Derby, which will be run at 2:45 p.m. today.

-- Eric Sondheimer