Traitor returns to track, but may miss Derby

February 13, 1997|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Traitor, a top contender for the Kentucky Derby, has resumed training after a freak accident Feb. 1 at Hialeah Park in Florida. But the week and a half of lost conditioning could jeopardize his chances of racing in the spring classics.

Traitor is trained by Mary Eppler, based at Pimlico but spending the winter at Hialeah. He is owned by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, former owner of Sagamore Farm in Baltimore County.

The accident occurred as Traitor walked off the Hialeah track after galloping. A horse behind him became unruly, upsetting Traitor and causing him to lunge into a railing. He cut his chest and bruised a hoof. His exercise rider, Kieron Magee, was thrown face-first onto blacktop, suffering scrapes and injuring his wrist.

A body and bone scan of Traitor revealed no internal injuries, but he was, in Eppler's words, "a little bit off" for several days. Yesterday, he galloped for the first time since the injury.

"We'll just have to play it day by day," Eppler said yesterday. "As for the Derby, I don't know. We're going to try to make it."

Pub Date: 2/13/97

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