Canuck colt out of Derby

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

Square Eddie's bid to become the third Canadian-bred to win the Kentucky Derby has slammed to a halt.

Trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Paul Reddam of Windsor, decided this morning to withdraw the promising chestnut from this Saturday's race after a nagging shin injury acted up.

The colt, who was bred in Ontario by Kinghaven Farms, had been sidelined for three months with the injury but returned to action on April 18 where a strong third-place finish prompted Reddam and trainer Doug O'Neill to send him to Louisville for the opening jewel of the Triple Crown. The colt had a quick training workout on Sunday at Churchill Downs and apparently aggravated the sore shin.

The setback is not expected to be career threatening but the son of Smart Strike will be given time to recuperate. O'Neill and Reddam have said they would like to race Square Eddie in the Queen's Plate which will be raced at Woodbine on June 21.

"He's walking sound and looks fine, but we decided to err on the side of caution," O'Neill told reporters at Churchill Downs. "It's extremely disappointing. If the race were a month from now it would be a different story. We realized we had to be hiccup free to make the Derby and this was the first sign of a little hiccup.

"He's going to be fine. Unfortunately, it's the biggest race of the year."

Square Eddie was bidding to join Northern Dancer (1964) and Sunny's Halo (1983) as Canadian-bred horses to win the famed Run for the Roses.


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