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Ulysses' epic Breeders' Cup journey ends with an inflamed hoof

Ulysses during training in the Turf race for the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on November 1, 2016 in Arcadia, California.
Ulysses during training in the Turf race for the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on November 1, 2016 in Arcadia, California.
Harry How/Getty Images

Crowds are streaming into Del Mar for the second day of the Breeders' Cup featuring nine races, capped by the $6 million Classic.

Ulysses, the 7-2 early favorite for the $4 million Turf, was scratched from Saturday's race because of inflammation in his left front hoof.

The on-call veterinarian, Dr. Scott Palmer, says the problem isn't major, but the owner wants to protect the 4-year-old colt, so he decided Friday night to scratch.

Ulysses exercises during training for the Turf in the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on November 3, 2016 in Arcadia, California.
Ulysses exercises during training for the Turf in the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park on November 3, 2016 in Arcadia, California.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Ulysses is set to return to England on Sunday. The colt has won three of six starts this year, and most recently was third in the Prix de 'Arc de Triomphe.

His absence leaves defending champion Highland Reel as the likely favorite for the 1½-mile race at the seaside track north of San Diego.