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Royal Mo is injured during Preakness workout, will be retired

Royal Mo, with Victor Espinoza aboard, races to victory along the inside during the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4 at Santa Anita.
(Benoit Photo via AP)

California-based horses haven’t been a big part of the Triple Crown discussion this year and the field was reduced by one, a very promising 3-year-old who will have to be retired after a workout injury.

The latest blow came Sunday when Royal Mo sustained a sesamoid fracture of his right front ankle during his latest workout before Saturday’s Preakness.

There was no initial indication that there was additional damage to the area around the fracture. He was vanned to the New Bolton Center, which is where the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Center is located.

The injury is certainly career-ending and if there are no complications he will be retired to the breeding shed.

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Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens was on a five-furlong workout with Royal Mo when he heard a pop. He immediately jumped off the colt and supported his leg until trainer John Shirreffs and a veterinarian arrived.

The horse was sedated and a splint was applied to the affected leg. He then walked onto the horse ambulance and was taken to the barn for X-rays where the fracture was diagnosed.

“He won’t run again, but he’ll make a good daddy,” Stevens told Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form.

It leaves Term of Art as the only California-based horse in what is expected to be a 10-horse field.

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Perhaps the best horse in the country, and certainly in the West, Mastery was ruled off the Kentucky Derby trail when he suffered a condylar fracture of his front leg moments after winning the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Trainer Bob Baffert thinks it’s unlikely he will return to the track and likely be retired to stud.

john.cherwa@latimes.com

@jcherwa

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