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Hoppertunity scratched from Kentucky Derby

(Reuters) - Hoppertunity, one of the favorites to win Saturday's 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, has been scratched from the race because of a minor injury.

The colt's trainer Bob Baffert withdrew the horse from the $2.2 million classic on Thursday morning after he noticed some discomfort with his left front hoof.

Baffert said the injury did not appear serious and the three-year-old may still compete in the Preakness Stakes on May 17, the second leg of U.S. racing's Triple Crown, but he was skipping the Kentucky Derby as a precaution.

"Yesterday, he had an issue with his foot after the work," Baffert told reporters. "I didn't feel good about it.

"Hopefully, he'll feel better. I want to get him in the Preakness."

Hoppertunity had been listed as the 6-1 second favorite behind California Chrome for Saturday's race. His place in the field will be filled by Pablo Del Monte, a 50-1 longshot.

As the first alternate, Pablo Del Monte will automatically start from widest post in the 20 horse field. Hoppertunity had been drawn in barrier 11 so all the horses between 12 and 20 will each move in one spot.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; editing by Justin Palmer)

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