LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bob Baffert experienced the amazing highs and incredible lows of horse-racing all in one afternoon Saturday. His best Derby hope, the unbeaten Mastery scored an impressive three-length victory in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in his three-year-old debut. That euphoria was greatly tempered when Mastery was diagnosed after the race with a condylar fracture in his front left leg, taking him off the Derby trail.
Bob Baffert said afterwards that Mastery will have surgery on Monday and it's not known whether or not the injury is career-threatening.
“He’s just a beautiful moving horse,” Baffert said before he knew the extent of the injury. “He was just doing it easy. It’s very rare to get one like that. You go from seeing the next coming, and then something like that happens. I’ve never dealt with anything like that.”
Mastery led all the way and ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.28 at Santa Anita. He paid $3.60, $2.40 and $2.10 as the 4-5 favorite.
Jockey Mike Smith felt something wasn't right soon after the finish line and got off Mastery. The horse then walked onto the track ambulance where he was taken to be checked out at his barn.
“I felt it about 10 jumps after the wire," Smith said. "All of a sudden he just picked his back leg up. Then a minute or so and he put it down and he was fine.”
Iliad was second with Term of Art third. Both are trained by Doug O'Neill.
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