Joel Rosario, top, and Nadal cross the wire to win the second division of the Arkansas Derby horse race Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, Ark. (Richard Rasmussen/The Sentinel-Record via AP)

Nadal Off Triple Crown Trail After Injury At Santa Anita

May 28, 2020 - 2:09 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nadal, one of trainer Bob Baffert’s early favorites for the Triple Crown, injured his ankle after a workout at Santa Anita on Thursday and is out of contention for the series.

The 3-year-old colt suffered a left front condylar fracture, Baffert said in a phone interview. It was diagnosed after Nadal completed a half-mile workout in 48.80 seconds. He had surgery during which two screws were inserted in his ankle at the track’s equine hospital.

“He looked good doing it,” Baffert said of the workout. “He got back to the barn and you could tell he was a little bit off. We X-rayed his left ankle. He's got the start of a condylar fracture, a little faint line. There's no damage, it's not displaced."

Baffert said Nadal could return to racing after a 90-day recovery period. However, he would miss the Belmont Stakes on June 20, the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 and the Preakness on Oct. 3. Baffert wasn't sure if the colt's owners would retire him.

Nadal is named for Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who has endured numerous injuries during his stellar career.

The colt was undefeated in four career starts and earned $1,053,000. He won a division of the Arkansas Derby on May 2 and the Rebel Stakes on March 14, both at Oaklawn. In February, he won the San Vicente after winning his racing debut in January at Santa Anita.

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