Wood Memorial winner I Want Revenge, who was scratched from the Kentucky Derby the morning of the race with ligament damage to his left front ankle, has "a significant injury" that could end his career, according to veterinarian Dr. Foster Northrop.
I Want Revenge underwent an MRI at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on Monday and was scheduled to have a bone scan Tuesday.
Northrop said the MRI revealed more damage in the ankle and that he expects the colt would have to undergo "two to three months" of intensive therapy if he hopes to make a return to the track.
"If he responds to the therapy, he has a chance (to race again)," Northrop said. "If he doesn't respond, it's over. It's that simple. If this were the fall, he'd probably be done (for his career). I'm just thankful that it manifested itself when it did before the race."
Although Northrop said the injury could be career-ending, Michael Iavarone, president of co-owner IEAH Stables, said that kind of talk is premature.
"I'm still trying to get what exactly the whole story is from Dr. Larry Bramlage (of Rood & Riddle)," Iavarone said when reached by phone on Tuesday. "Foster didn't do the MRI, and I think it's far too early for him to be making suggestions to this point.
"From what Bramlage told me, any injury in that area is significant and requires the utmost attention," Iavarone continued. "We need to look at this on a month-by-month basis. However, it's far too premature to view this as anything other than an injury that has to be taken seriously. We're still waiting for clarification from Bramlage."
I Want Revenge was the morning-line favorite for the Derby before the ailment eliminated him from running.
Because the injury occurred in a vital area around the fetlock, Northrop said it was necessary to take every precaution.
"It was worse Sunday, and it was worse on Monday so it's right in the active stage of inflammation," Northrop said. "That area is inherently very crucial, and that's why we did the MRI because it always shows more than the ultrasound."
Desert Party suffers ankle injury
Godolphin Racing's Desert Party, who finished 14th behind winner Mine That Bird in the Kentucky Derby, emerged from the race with a displaced chip in his left front ankle that will require surgery.
Desert Party will probably be sidelined until the second half of the year, but he will remain in training as a 4-year-old, according to a release on the Godolphin Racing Web site.
"After the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Desert Party underwent a series of X-rays which revealed a chip in his left front ankle, and the displaced chip now requires surgery," said Simon Crisford, racing manager for Godolphin. "Obviously his injury contributed to his below-par run in the Kentucky Derby."
Musket Man trainer leaning toward Preakness
Musket Man, the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, will probably run in the Preakness.
Trainer Derek Ryan said he expects to decide by Wednesday, adding that his colt will not run in the Belmont Stakes.
Ryan said he likes the 13⁄16-mile distance for the May 16 Preakness.
"It's shortening up a little bit, and I want to run him in the Haskell," Ryan said before a press conference to trumpet this weekend's opening of Monmouth Park in New Jersey, the site of the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Aug. 2.
Musket Man was edged for second in the Derby by Pioneer of the Nile. The two finished almost seven lengths behind Mine That Bird.
Hungarian horse hurt
Overdose, the unbeaten racehorse who has become a national hero in Hungary, could miss his debut in England because of sore feet.
The 4-year-old Hungarian-owned horse, who has won 12 straight races, is being treated for the problem in the weeks before his scheduled start in the Temple Stakes at Haydock Park on May 23.
"We'll go only if we believe the horse can be at 100 percent," owner Zoltan Mikoczy told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
He said a decision probably would be made Thursday or Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.