Gouverneur Morris off Derby trail

Written By Kimberly French on June 24, 2020 - Last Updated on August 18, 2020

Another promising 3-year-old colt is off the abridged and delayed “Road to the Kentucky Derby” as Gouverneur Morris will be on the shelf for a few months following a bout with colitis.

The Team Valor International and WinStar Farm-owned Constitution-sired colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, is being treated at the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center, after being shipped there June 22.

Grade 1-placed at 2 and 3, Gouverneur Morris reportedly fell ill on Monday after leaving a hyperbaric chamber at the Fair Hill Training Center.

“He did not look good at all. He had diarrhea, his color was off and his heart rate was elevated,” said Team Valor CEO and founder Barry Irwin. “He was diagnosed with colitis, which can be very bad, but so far he is holding his own. Hopefully, within four to six days he can leave there, but this will knock him out and he will need a couple of months off.”

Gouverneur Morris is off the Derby leaderboard

Gouverneur Morris has won twice in five career starts, earning $247,500.

He finished third in one division of the Arkansas Derby (G1) in his most recent effort.

Gouverneur Morris comes off the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard in 13th place with 34 points.

He had been pointing to the July 11 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, a race that had to be rescheduled when the Lexington track had to cancel its entire April meet.

Team Valor has a roller coaster of a summer

Recent times have been unusual for Team Valor, beginning on June 18 when their 4-year-old Group 1 winner Technician suffered a career-ending bowed tendon injury in the Gold Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot.

Two days later, Oleksandra went from worst to first to win the six-furlong Jaipur Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on the Belmont Stakes undercard.

“It’s been a crazy week,” Irwin said. “We lose one horse, then we win a Grade 1 and then this happens with Gouverneur Morris. It’s been up, down, up, down. At least the stars were in alignment for Oleksandra. From the quarter pole to the eighth pole, she went :10 4/5. You can’t go much faster than that.”

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Kimberly French

Kimberly French is an award winning freelance journalist specializing in horse racing and horse health living in Louisville, KY. Her work has appeared in more than 25 national and international publications. She is currently the editor of Hoof Beats magazine, the official publication of the U.S. Trotting Association and the special assistant to the president for the Association of Racing Commissioners International.

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