Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Local Derby hopeful scratched by injury

By Neil Schmidt nschmidt@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It's a fragile thing, finding a horse that can win the Kentucky Derby for you. Jerry Bach thought he had one, but the dream died when he answered the phone Monday in his Mount Adams office.

        Repent, just days earlier projected as the second choice in the Derby, was found to have a bone chip in his left ankle.

        “It's very tough,” Mr. Bach said. “That little chip will screw up the whole (Triple Crown) series. But that's horse racing.”

        Mr. Bach and wife, Feye, who live in Indian Hill and own Select Stable, struggled with the news. Repent finished second Saturday in the Illinois Derby, dropping him to fourth in most Derby projections, and X-rays showed why.

        Repent will have surgery April 15 in Lexington to remove the chip, then undergo two to three months of rehabilitation. The top event Repent can focus on is the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup.

        “He'll come out of it 100 percent,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “He's made a million dollars (actually $1,055,660) in eight starts, and he'll make another million.”

        The Bachs still have a star in filly Take Charge Lady, which provided their first-ever Grade I stakes victory Saturday when she won the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.

        Though his filly was ninth Monday in the Associated Press' Derby prospects list, Mr. Bach said he wants her to run in the May 3 Kentucky Oaks, the world's top race for fillies. “I don't want to hurt her,” he said.

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