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No More Time Injured in Breeze, Out of Kentucky Derby

Lexington Stakes (G3) winner Encino now joins the Kentucky Derby field.

No More Time and Paco Lopez after winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs

No More Time and Paco Lopez after winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs

SV Photography

No More Time, winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and runner-up in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3), is off the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail after sustaining an injury at the end of his April 14 breeze at Palm Meadows Training Center.

In what was meant to be his final breeze before shipping to Churchill Downs later in the week, No More Time completed five furlongs in 1:01.90 but started to show signs that something was wrong once he had finished.

Rich Mendez, founder of Morplay Racing which owns the 3-year-old colt, was present for the work.

"The riders said he was fine in the breeze," Mendez said. "When he was coming off the track was when it happened."

No More Time was able to make it back to trainer Jose D'Angelo's barn on his own power to be further evaluated. X-rays revealed a condylar fracture in the left front leg and the decision was made to send No More Time to Ocala, Fla., for surgery.

"(It was) sad to see him go through that," Mendez said, "I think he's going to be fine. He's a strong horse, he's all heart."

The team surrounding the Iowa-bred Not This Time  colt have experienced a whirlwind of emotions in the past 24 hours. Sitting in the last spot on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, No More Time only officially qualified for the May 4 Kentucky Derby the night before his injury when Holy Bull Stakes (G3) winner Hades finished seventh in the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

"(I am) sad for the horse, for my family, and for Jose and his team," Mendez said. "Everyone was excited, it was their first time going to the Derby."

Although he will miss the Run for the Roses, Mendez still takes pride in the fact that his stable star was able to qualify for the race.

"He made it," Mendez said. "He gave me and my family some amazing memories. To be able to win a stakes race, to see him and watch him grow from when he was a year old, you get personal with him. You get to see him grow, you get to see him be an annoying teenager. Of course it becomes personal, you see my grandson emulating him...but it's okay. He'll be back stronger than ever."

No More Time is expected to make a full recovery and Mendez is hopeful he will return to racing before the end of the year.

In a statement later released by Mendez, he stated:

"Our team at Morplay Racing is clearly devastated by the news, but we are thankful No More Time should be able to make a full recovery and be back on the track again soon.

"We want to thank Jose D'Angelo and our entire team that gave us this incredible ride over the last year, and we're now turning our attention and focus to getting No More Time healthy and better than ever."

With No More Time's defection, Lexington winner Encino now moves into the Top 20 on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard.