Spend a Buck Stays in Barn This Weekend

To no one’s surprise, Spend a Buck’s owners didn’t accept an invitation to run in Saturday’s $500,000 Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park. The price was right, but New York’s racing rules weren’t.

In New York, Spend a Buck can’t run on the diuretic medication he needs to help an internal bleeding problem. So owner Dennis Diaz planned to run Spend a Buck in Sunday’s Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park (formerly Keystone). The Pennsylvania purse is only $300,000, but the state permits bleeder medication.

It turns out, though, that Spend a Buck won’t be running anywhere this weekend. Following a half-mile workout Thursday morning at Philadelphia Park, veterinarian Alex Harthill found a filling just above the right front ankle.

Diaz scratched the Kentucky Derby winner from the Pennsylvania Derby. “I can’t fly in the face of the opinions of others (Harthill and trainer Cam Gambolati),” Diaz said. “We can’t push the horse if we’ve got hopes for other races down the line.”