Cudas, the probable favorite for Friday's $150,000 Early Times Dixie Handicap on the turf, suffered a broken bone in his left front leg during a gallop yesterday morning.
Veterinarian James Stewart said the injury can be repaired and that the horse "could race productively again."
The winner of the Early Times Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 1, Cudas fractured the long pastern bone, just below the ankle. Surgery is anticipated by Dr. Larry Bramlage of Lexington, Ky., but no date has been set.
Bramlage performs practically all the surgery necessary on Allen Paulson's horses, including the knee operation on Arazi after his victory last November in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Assistant trainer Alex Hassinger said the horse was almost finished a mile-long gallop when the break occurred.
"He was just ready to come down to a jog to come off the track," said Hassinger. "I had sent him out for a gallop just to stretch his legs."
Stewart applied a fiberglass cast to the colt's leg and said he "was marvelous to work on."
Cudas set a track record at Churchill in his last race, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:46 2/5. He could have earned a $1 million bonus for winning three races in the Early Times Triple Turf series, which also includes the Grade II Early Times Manhattan Handicap June 7 at Belmont Park.
* Pimlico Special winner Strike the Gold will remain on the grounds this week while trainer Nick Zito prepares Agincourt for the Preakness.
The 4-year-old Alydar colt is being pointed toward the fifth race in the American Championship Racing Series, the $500,000 Nassau County Handicap at Belmont Park June 6.
Strike the Gold emerged from his first victory since the 1991 Kentucky Derby in good condition. He picked up 10 points in the race toward a $1.5 million total bonus at the end of the ACRS series.
Favored Best Pal, the point leader with 23, also came out of the race OK after finishing fourth. He will return to California to prepare for the Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic.
Fly So Free, who ran a game second, left Pimlico yesterday morning for his home base of Belmont Park, and Twilight Agenda (third) will be vanned to New York this morning to prepare for the Nassau County.
"I think the worst part of the series is behind us now for this horse," said trainer Wayne Lukas of Twilight Agenda. "We'll raise hell with them the rest of the way."
The horse overcame heavy traffic, a heel bruise and second high weight of 122 pounds.
The remainder of the field also emerged in good shape. The next start for local runner Valley Crossing (fifth) is uncertain.
NOTES: Miss Legality turned in a scorching half-mile workout (45 4/5 seconds) under Walter Guerra yesterday in preparation for Friday's $250,000 Black Eyed Susan Stakes. "She went a little faster than I wanted," said trainer Sonny Hine. "She fooled me, fooled the jock, fooled everybody." . . . Sunny Sunrise is scheduled to breeze a half-mile tomorrow as the final serious work for the $150,000-added Maryland Budweiser Breeders' Cup Preakness Day. . . . Jockey Edgar Prado and trainers Richard Delp and Dale Capuano on yesterday's card.