By Emily Shields
The field for the 2020 Kentucky Derby – already short with the defections of Art Collector, Caracaro, and Shirl’s Speight – took another hit on Thursday when King Guillermo was scratched from the race.
The three-year-old son of Uncle Mo is trained by Juan Carlos Avila, and was to be ridden by Samy Camacho. King Guillermo, who won the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) earlier this year and has been training at Churchill Downs since a second place finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1), developed a fever on September 2 and missed morning training on a wet September 3 morning. He did not improve enough during the day to make the Kentucky Derby a reasonable goal. King Guillermo was 20-1 on the morning line and slated to break from post position six.
Following the discovery of the fever, trainer Avila said, “To race in a race like the Derby we need him at 100 percent. It’s a big race and a little problem is a big problem for me.”
Now the two-time winner will point towards the 2020 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on October 3.
He is just the latest withdrawal from a race that already saw Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) winner Art Collector, unbeaten Shirl’s Speight, and Travers (G1) runner up Caracaro declared out in the last week. Caracaro was injured in his final workout before the Derby, Art Collector had minor bruising, and Shirl’s Speight developed a cough. The latter two will also point towards the Preakness Stakes.
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