Godolphin homebred Rebel’s Romance (IRE), winner of the UAE Derby (G2), has been declared out of the June 5 Belmont Stakes (G1) due to a hind leg infection.
“Unfortunately Rebel’s Romance will not be declared for Saturday’s G1 Belmont Stakes due to an infection in his hind leg,” Godolphin posted in a statement on Twitter on June 1. “We hope this is only a minor setback and we look forward to seeing him back on the racecourse in the near future.”
In a statement provided to Tamarkuz Media, trainer Charlie Appleby said the infection “it’s not going to shift and his bloodwork is showing it’s still handing around there, as well.”
Rebel’s Romance most recently worked in company on May 26 at Belmont Park in preparation for the final leg of the Triple Crown. The gelded son of Dubawi (IRE) is a four-time winner of five career starts with his lone defeat taking place when finishing fourth in the Saudi Derby on February 29 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.
Rebel’s Romance romped to a 5 ½-length victory in the 1 3/16-miles UAE Derby on March 27 at Meydan Racecourse. He has been at Belmont Park since May 2 preparing for the 153rd Belmont Stakes.
Godolphin still has a top contender for the 12-furlong classic in champion Essential Quality. The son of Tapit finished fourth as the betting favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1), his lone defeat in six career starts.