Nadal, the undefeated winner of the Arkansas Derby and a leading contender for the Kentucky Derby, was injured in a workout at Santa Anita on Thursday and has been retired.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Nadal suffered a condylar fracture of his left front leg working a half-mile in 48 4/5 seconds. Nadal was immediately taken to the track’s equine hospital where surgery was performed and two screws were inserted into the injured leg.
The son of Blame was purchased for $700,000 at the Gulfstream two-year-old sale in March 2019 and raced for the partnership of George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman, and Mark Mathiesen. After winning his Maiden debut in January, Nadal won the Grade II San Vicente Stakes and the Grade II Rebel before his Arkansas Derby victory.
It has been a tough week for Baffert. Charlatan, who Baffert trained to win the other division of the Arkansas Derby along with Nadal, had a positive test for a banned substance after his victory. Baffert has requested that a split sample be tested. Should that sample confirm the positive findings, Charlatan would be disqualified from his Arkansas Derby win and would forfeit the winning purse and the 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points earned.
Since Charlatan has not raced in any other Stakes, he would have zero Kentucky Derby points if he is disqualified and would need to earn points in other upcoming Stakes to get into the Kentucky Derby should the race overfill Sept. 5.