Japanese horse Epicharis treated for lameness before Belmont

by Associated Press on June 8, 2017 at 10:52 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The mystery surrounding the Japanese horse that is the early 4-1 second choice to win the Belmont Stakes has gotten deeper.

Epicharis didn’t train on Thursday, hours after the 3-year-old dark brown colt was treated with an anti-inflammatory for lameness in his right front hoof, calling into question whether he will be fit to run in Saturday’s final leg of the Triple Crown.

Epicharis was treated intravenously with Butazolidin, commonly known as bute, on Wednesday night, according to veterinary records from the New York State Gaming Commission. The vet treating the horse cited “possible foot” as the issue.

Epicharis walked around his barn on Thursday, two days after he had his last serious workout. Trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara is hopeful he will return to the track on Friday.

The Belmont lost expected favorite Classic Empire because of an abscess in his right front hoof. The $1.5 million race also is without Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing.