Bond Holder out of TB Derby

Bond Holder, a leading early contender for the Kentucky Derby, will not make an expected start in the March 8 Tampa Bay Derby and his next race is undetermined, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.

In a Twitter post March 3, O'Neill said the Mineshaft colt, who won the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita Park last year, is still recovering from a minor injury sustained when the FedEx flight he was aboard from California to Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots for the Feb. 22 Risen Star Stakes experienced turbulence. Bond Holder was scratched from the Risen Star and plans to have him return to California were nixed after he became upset and was taken off the plane in Miami.

"Bond Holder is still recovering from the effects of his FedEx flight," O'Neill said on Twitter. "He is walking sound. His foot is doing better and we remain day by day with him. Bond Holder hopefully will be on the track at the end of the week, and if all continues to go well will have his first work the following week. We do not want to press him, so his next race is up in the air at this time. Bond Holder will remain at Tampa Bay Downs in the meantime."

Bond Holder's FrontRunner is the colt's lone victory in seven starts. The $366,000 earner subsequently finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and CashCall Futurity, Both grade 1, for Reddam Racing.