Maximus Ruler Out of Saturday's Risen Star

Don Benge’s Maximus Ruler, runner-up behind Ron the Greek in Fair Grounds’ Grade III Lecomte Stakes Jan. 23, will not run in Saturday’s Grade II Risen Star Stakes after coming up with a slight injury following a breeze Sunday morning at the New Orleans oval.

“He didn’t want to place his right hind foot down toe to heel when he was being walked yesterday afternoon,” said trainer Clark Hanna of Maximus Ruler Monday morning. “Usually, he walks very forwardly, but when we took his shoe off his foot seemed to be a little sensitive. We took some pictures and they came back clean, so we gave him some hot water therapy and some anti-inflammatory medication to take the soreness out, and he seems to be much, much better this morning (Monday). Now, we’re going play things by ear, and evaluate him for a few days. We’ll see how he does with no medication over the next 24 to 48 hours to make sure he’s okay.

“I just don’t feel comfortable running him back this weekend,” Hanna said. “This is the best horse I’ve had in my lifetime and I don’t want to ruin him. My best educated guess right now is it’s only a stone bruise and he’ll be fine, but he’ll have plenty of other opportunities.”

Rachel Alexandra Gallops Monday but Her Regular Exercise Rider Injured Shortly Thereafter
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra enjoyed a routine gallop at about 6:30 Monday morning in preparation for her proposed engagement in Fair Grounds’ New Orleans Ladies March 13, but her regular exercise rider Dominic Terry was injured less than an hour later after completing a breeze aboard another Steve Asmussen trainee – the 3-year-old filly Wild Forest Cat.

Terry, known for his ability to communicate with Rachel Alexandra, had completed Wild Forest Cat’s work, accomplished in 53.80, but was unseated while galloping out following the move. Terry, a valued member of Rachel Alexandra’s team, was conscious and talking, but complaining of neck and wrist pain before being transported to University Hospital for x-rays.