(Avery Island winning the Withers Stakes at Aqueduct / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

According to a report in The Daily Racing Form (http://www.drf.com/news/avery-island-be-evaluated-after-coming-lame-following-work), Avery Island — the impressive winner of the G3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 3 and a leading contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby — will be sent from his home base in South Florida to Lexington, Ky. for an immediate evaluation by noted equine veterinarian Larry Bramlage.

Mike Welsch, of the DRF, reported that the colt worked impressively at the Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida on Friday for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and everything seemed to be pointing favorably toward the colt’s next start in the Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds on March 24.

But in the report, Welsch quoted McLaughlin as saying that the colt came out of the work “lame.”

“He worked great on Friday – it was probably his best work yet – but he came back lame,” McLaughlin told the DRF on Tuesday. “We waited to see the next morning what filled up to get an idea what he might have done, but there was nothing. He jogged down the road sound and he seems sound today. But he probably did something to himself, so he’s going to Rood and Riddle today to be evaluated, and we’ll just wait until Dr. Bramlage gets back to us and lets us know what we’re dealing with and how much time we’ll need.

“He was just doing everything right, training great, improving with every work. But these things happen. It’s a shame. Now all we can do is keep our fingers crossed and hope it’s not anything major.”

In 2017, Avery Island won the G2 Nashua at Aqueduct, and was second to the classy Catholic Boy in the G2 Remsen Stakes. The colt is owned by Godolphin Stable, who also has Derby prospect Enticed — who recently captured the G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.