Churchill Downs officials announced the late scratch of Black Onyx from tomorrow's Kentucky Derby due to a bone chip in the left front ankle.
According to conditioner Kelly Breen, swelling was discovered during morning training, after which connections agreed that an x-ray was warranted.
Breen said, "It couldn't be worse timing. I've been saying all week how tough it is to get here."
A noticibly sullen Joe Bravo had been scheduled for the mount.
"I'm just very thankful the horse is going to be okay," he said.
Bravo noted that he hadn't noticed anything wrong with Black Onyx during recent works, crediting the care Breen and his staff have provided the son of Rock Hard Ten.
"The horse has got so much heart, and he's just such a warrior that he never showed me a sign of anything," Bravo said. "I'm not a vet, but I couldn't see a thing. I feel sorry for the whole team."
While details regarding prognosis and surgery options are to be determined, Breen stated that the lameness was mild, calling it "a minor limp."
Black Onyx was to break from the first gate—which will remain open. Since a 9:00 a.m. deadline passed, also-eligible Fear The Kitten will not start.
|In case you missed it: Kentucky Derby 139 (Video)|
|Handicapping Kentucky Derby 139|
|Black Onyx spins out a win in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes|
|Road to the Kentucky Derby makes its way to Kentucky with Saturday’s Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park|
|Kentucky Derby future wager starts Wednesday|
|Kentucky Derby winner Orb retired|
|Will Take Charge charges to victory in Travers upset|