Owner Ken Ramsey said Friday morning that trainer Mike Maker discovered some filling in Dark Cove’s tendon, and the multiple graded stakes winner will scratch from the $400,000 American St. Leger on Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse.
“We can’t take a chance with a horse like that,” Ramsey said of the horse he claimed for $50,000 who has gone on to win three graded stakes races, including the local prep for the St. Leger the Grade III Stars and Stripes Stakes.
Dark Cove was the second choice on the morning line at 3-1 in the field of eight. His defection leaves Europe-based horses Dandino (9-5) and Wigmore Hall (7-2) as the top two choices from the original morning line.
With Dark Cove out, Ramsey said he would cheer for Team Block’s Illinois-bred Suntracer, who is by Ramsey’s stallion, Kitten’s Joy. In other St. Leger changes, local jockey Jeffrey Sanchez will replace Quincy Hamilton on Richard Ravin and Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Ojos de Hielo for trainer Larry Rivelli.