Catching up on horse racing news this morning was less fun than it has been in a very long time. As excited as I am about the big racing going on today, I was so sad to hear that Top Billing cracked his right front cannon bone during this morning’s work, and is off the Derby trail. Him dropping off the Derby trail affects me like few others would. He’s a son of Curlin; it’s no secret that Curlin is my favourite sire, and I cheer for his progeny to do well. He ran a well closing third in the Fountain of Youth, and was better equipped pedigree-wise to handle the Classic distances than either General a Rod or Wildcat Red. He had nowhere to go but up, and now he’s laid up in the barn.
The good news is that the injury does not appear to be life-threatening. According to trainer Shug McGaughey, Top Billing is going back to Kentucky today and having surgery to fix the bone tomorrow or Monday. As a fan, I hope he gets all the time and space he needs to recover, and is able to race and race well once his bone heals up.
I can’t spend too much time moping about this, because I have only about three hours before the first post at Hawthorne, and need to handicap that card. However, I’m going to miss Top Billing, who along with Conquest Titan had become one of my two favourite Derby trail horses up to this point.
Good luck, Top Billing.