Rebuff, who this past weekend won the Kentucky Futurity for three-year-old trotters at Lexington’s Red Mile, will miss the upcoming Breeders Crown in Canada and not race again this season because of sickness, co-owner/trainer Lucas Wallin said Friday.
The colt, who won the 2021 Breeders Crown for two-year-old male trotters at The Meadowlands, returned to Wallin’s training base in New Jersey on Monday and began to show signs of sickness on Tuesday morning. Rebuff’s condition worsened through the week, leading to the decision to end his campaign. The Breeders Crown was the last stakes event on his schedule.
“We gave it a couple of days, but there is still too much mucous to risk it,” Wallin said about the trip to Ontario for the Breeders Crown at Woodbine Mohawk Park, which hosts eliminations for three-year-olds on Oct. 22 and finals on Oct. 29. “It just got worse and worse. We were really looking forward to the Breeders Crown, to defend his title. That’s too bad, but that’s horses.”
Rebuff, a son of Muscle Hill-Meucci Madness driven by Tim Tetrick, hit the board in eight of nine races this year, winning five. In addition to winning the Futurity, his triumphs included an elimination of the Hambletonian and divisions of the Stanley Dancer Memorial and W.N. Reynolds Memorial. His 1:49.4 score in the Dancer is this season’s fastest time for a three-year-old trotter.
His only off-the-board finish came in the Hambletonian final. He rebounded with a win in a leg of the Kentucky Championship Series and finished second in the series final.
For the year, Rebuff earned $518,395 for owners Wallin, Kjell Magne Andersen and Pieter Delis. Lifetime, the colt has won nine of 20 starts and earned $962,490.
“His year was a little up and down, but it felt like he was on the way up again,” Wallin said. “He raced super in the Futurity. It was very rewarding. When he is good, I think he’s definitely the best colt out there.”
The Kentucky Futurity is the third jewel in the Trotting Triple Crown. It was the 29-year-old Wallin’s first victory in a Triple Crown event.
“To win the Futurity, which I think is the second-biggest race after the Hambletonian, with so much history, was a fantastic feeling,” Wallin said. “That’s definitely a race you really want to win before you retire as a trainer. That was such a moment.”
No decision has been made about Rebuff’s future.
“We have no plans yet for next year,” Wallin said. “We are three owners, and we really haven’t discussed it. A lot of people have showed interest in him. Me, as a trainer, would love to see him race next year. I know it’s a lot of money as a stallion also, so it’s both ways.”