Like how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop, the world may never know if trainer Peter Miller was accurate when he said he doesn’t get “Kentucky Derby fever”. For you see, his prime contender is now off the trail due to injury.

Calculator is a three-year old colt that is as brilliantly fast as he is beautiful. An eye-popping win in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on January 10 had this grandson of Alphabet Soup in the fast lane to Churchill Downs. Miller had conveniently quipped “I have been vaccinated” in reference to the rampant running Derby fever epidemic that engulfs many this time of year. Unfortunately, we probably will not get to find out about the California trainer’s immunity as the dashing gray colt suffered an injury and will be sidelined for about 6 months. Miller does have other 3-year olds in his barn, but none appear to have the talent of Calculator.

Although we may be left wondering if the vaccine really works, we do not have to question the heartbreak that can be involved in the sport of Thoroughbred racing. These four-legged phenoms are as fragile at times as they are powerful. Good news is Calculator should be back later in the year and that should add up to more thrills for fans throughout the country.