Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty will miss a start in Saturday's $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park after a brief illness earlier this week, trainer Bob Baffert said from Santa Anita on Tuesday.
Baffert said that Plum Pretty had a temperature Monday and that the fever had subsided within 24 hours.
"I was going to send her to New York, and she got a slight temperature," he said. "I've got a little bug in my barn. She's okay now."
Plum Pretty would have been favored in the Grade 1 Mother Goose, which is run over 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies. Her next start is undetermined, Baffert said.
"This was my deal," he said of the Mother Goose.
The Mother Goose suffered another key defection earlier this week, when Royal Delta, the Black-Eyed Susan winner, was taken out of consideration because of a bruised foot. Bill Mott, Royal Delta's trainer, said she would miss more than five days of training. Mott said Royal Delta would be pointed to the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 23, followed by the Alabama on Aug. 20.
Entries for the Mother Goose were to be drawn Wednesday, leaving the Belmont racing office to scramble for potential candidates. Joyful Victory, a Tapit filly trained by Larry Jones who was fourth as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks, could go off as the favorite in the Mother Goose. Other horses expected to run include Buster's Ready and Alseera. Buster's Ready, a daughter of More Than Ready trained by Todd Pletcher, was runner-up to Royal Delta in the Black-Eyed Susan. Alseera, a Distorted Humor filly trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is a recent allowance winner.