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Foot Ailment Forces Scratch Justwhistledixie from 135th Kentucky Oaks

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/01/2009 #
  • Justwhistledixie, a winner of five consecutive faces coming into the Kentucky Oaks, works four furlongs at Churchill Downs.

West Point Thoroughbreds, Lakland Farm and R.D. Hubbard’s Justwhistledixie, a winner of five consecutive races including the Bonnie Miss (Grade II) and Davona Dale (GII) at Gulfstream Park, has been scratched from the 135th running of the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (GI) because of a foot ailment.

    The 3-year-old daughter of Dixie Union was the 5-2 second choice in the morning line odds for the field of eight in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, but was scratched less than two hours before the race.  Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said the filly was suffering from an abscess in her left front foot that was discovered as his brother and assistant trainer Neal McLaughlin prepared Justwhistledixie for the race.

    “She took an ‘off’ step in her stall,” said Kiaran McLaughlin said.  “We called the vet over and took a look at her and she was really tender in her left inside front.  We took the shoe off and there was heat in there.”

    Justwhistledixie was considered the biggest threat to Rachel Alexandra, the odds-on favorite in the Kentucky Oaks.  McLaughlin said his filly’s ailment is not serious, but there was no way she could compete in the Kentucky Oaks..

    “It’s just horrible timing,” he said.  “She’ll be fine, but it’s really disappointing.”

    Justwhistledixie’s five-race win streak had lifted her career record to 5-0-2 in seven races.  She has earned $337,927.  She is unbeaten in three races in 2009.

    The well-regarded Justwhistledixie was the 5-2 favorite in this year’s single pool of the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager, which was conducted March 12-15.  Rachel Alexandra was the 3-1 second choice in that four-day pool and reigning 2-year-old champion Stardom Bound was the third choice at 9-2.