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Kentucky Derby Trainer Suspended, All Horses Scratched Including Lord Miles

Kentucky Derby Trainer Suspended, All Horses Scratched Including Lord Miles article feature image

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A prominent Kentucky Derby trainer has had all of his horses suspended for this weekend after two of his horses died suddenly.

The three horses trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. had slated for Churchill Downs will now be scratched and Joseph Jr. has been suspended indefinitely.

“For the betterment of racing, the health and welfare of our equine athletes and the safety of our jockeys, all horses trained by trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. are scratched effective immediately and until further notice,” the Board of Stewards wrote in a news release. “This action is taken after consultation with Mr. Joseph and includes Lord Miles, who was entered into the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby.”

The most prominent horse to be scratched is Lord Miles, which had been a roughly +4000 underdog to win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday night.

The other horses are competing in the undercard races.

Parents Pride and Chasing Artie are two horses that perished under Joseph Jr.’s control. Another two horses have died in the leadup to Saturday’s big event.

“While a series of events like this is highly unusual, it is completely unacceptable,” Churchill Downs said in a statement. “We take this very seriously and acknowledge that these troubling incidents are alarming and must be addressed.”

The news came after one of the favorites — Practical Move — was scratched with an elevated temperature. Practical Move had been +900 to win, tied for the fourth-best favorite.

Cyclone Mischief and Mandarin Hero have subbed in. Cyclone Mischief opened as a +3000 underdog while Mandarin Hero is +2000.

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