News and STORIES

Gouverneur Morris Off Derby Trail; Stephen Foster Field Set

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Wednesday June 24, 2020
Team Valor International and WinStar Farm's Gouverneur Morris is no longer on the trail for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on Sept. 5. The colt has been diagnosed with colitis and will likely not be able to race for several months. 

The 3-year-old son of Constitution is currently at the New Jersey Equine Center, where he has been receiving treatment since Monday. 

In Bad Health

Gouverneur Morris fell ill on Monday after being treated at Fair Hill in a hyperbolic chamber due to a leg infection.

Barry Irwin is Team Valor CEO and founder.

"He did not look good at all. He had diarrhea, his color was off, and his heart rate was elevated," Irwin said. "He was diagnosed with colitis, which can be very bad, but so far he is holding his own. Hopefully, within four-to-six days he can leave there, but this will knock him out, and he will need a couple of months off."

Gouverneur Morris is grade 1-placed at 2 and 3. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he took two of five starts and earned $247,500.

His last start was a third-place finish in a division of the Arkansas Derby (G1), and he was holding the 13th spot on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard with 34 points. 

Before his injury, Gouverneur Morris was pointed toward the July 11 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. 

Team Valor

Team Valor has been dealing with problems and injuries among their runners, beginning back on June 18 when Technician, their 4-year-old group 1 winner, suffered a career-ending bowed tendon in the Gold Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot.

Following that injury, the partnership's Oleksandra won the six-furlong Jaipur Stakes (G1T) against open company at Belmont Park after rallying from eighth. She finished in a time of 1:06.80.

"It's been a crazy week," Irwin said. "We lose one horse, then we win a grade 1, and then this happens with Gouverneur Morris. It's been up, down, up, down. At least the stars were in alignment for Oleksandra. From the quarter pole to the eighth pole, she went :10 4/5. You can't go much faster than that."

The Stephen Foster

Saturday's $500,000, 1 1/8-mile Stephen Foster is set to see a face-off between Tom's d'Etat and By My Standards, among other skilled runners. 

G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat won both the Hagyard Fayette Stakes (G2) and the Clark Stakes presented by Norton Healthcare (G1). He is coming off a winter freshening and off a seasonal debut victory in the Oaklawn Mile Stakes.

Tom's d'Etat has won 10 of 17 starts and has earnings of more than $1.3 million. He will be joined by local jockey Miguel Mena since the 7-year-old son of Smart Strike's regular jockey Joel Rosario is unavailable.

He will be up against By My Standards, who is 3-for-3 this year. His victories include the New Orleans Classic Stakes (G2) and the Oaklawn Handicap (G2). 

"It's a big transition from (age) 3 to 4, and he made the transition we hoped he would," trainer Bret Calhoun said of By My Standards. "He is just a stronger version of what he was last year."

By My Standards will break under Gabe Saez from post 6.

The rest of the field (post, jockey) will include Fearless (post 1, John Velazquez); Pirate's Punch (post 2, Mike E. Smith); Alkaatam (post 3, Declan Cannon); Multiplier (post 4, Tyler Gaffalione); Silver Dust (post 7, Adam Beschizza); and Owendale (post 8, Florent Geroux).