Red Giant out of BC Turf due to illness

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Red Giant, a four-time stakes winner, was withdrawn from Saturday's $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita because of illness and will be retired, trainer Todd Pletcher said on Sunday.

Pletcher said stallion plans for Red Giant have not been finalized. Owned by Peachtree Stable, Red Giant won 6 of 12 starts and $1,092,410.

Red Giant was diagnosed with a temperature of 103 degrees on Sunday morning, Pletcher said. "We're six days out from the race and a 103 temperature won't give you time to prepare and breeze for a race as tough as this," Pletcher said. "He's responded and his temperature has come back down. I can't remember him being sick in his life."

Red Giant was unbeaten in two starts this year - the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 3 and the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Sept. 27. In the Hirsch, Red Giant ran 1 1/4 miles on turf in world-record time of 1:57.16. "He went out on a high note," Pletcher said.

A 4-year-old, Red Giant won half of his eight starts at 3, including the Grade 1 Virgnia Derby at Colonial Downs. He also finished second in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.

His absence from the BC Turf leaves an expected field of 11 - Better Talk Now, Conduit, Dancing Forever, Eagle Mountain, Grand Couturier, Out of Control, Red Rock Canyon, Red Rocks, Soldier of Fortune, Spring House and Winchester.