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Thursday, August 29, 2013
Fort Larned to miss Woodward

By Ron Mitchell
Bloodhorse



Trainer Ian Wilkes said the morning of Aug. 29 that 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned will be scratched out of the $750,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 31 because he is not 100%.

"He strained something in the behind," Wilkes said, adding that Janis Whitham's 5-year-old homebred son of E Dubai had been looked at by veterinarians. "It doesn't look too serious, but he has to be 100% to run in these races. In watching him this morning I didn't think he was 100%. He went out and jogged and took a long time to warm up and that is not normal for him."

Wilkes said despite missing the Woodward, the goal would still be for Fort Larned to defend his Breeders' Cup title at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 2.

"The goal will still be to get to the Breeders' Cup," the trainer said. "The first thing I have do is make sure the horse is right and go from there."

Fort Larned most recently finished fifth in the Whitney Invitational Handicap, which he won last year before finishing third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup en route to his Breeders' Cup success. The Gold Cup will be run Sept. 28 at Belmont Park.