Phosphorescent has gone to the racetrack the past two days and is moving 100%. We are all systems go for the $100,000 Maryland Million Turf Sprint on Saturday, October 2nd at Laurel.
Rain is expected in Maryland today and tomorrow, but the forecast is sunny the rest of the week. It is very unlikely that the race is taken off the turf, but we have nominated to the $100,000 Woodford Stakes (G3) on October 9th at Keeneland as a backup plan.
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Date: Saturday, October 2nd
Conditions: Maryland Million Turf Sprint
Distance: 5 1/2 furlongs (Turf)
Race #: 5Time: 2:42 EDT
Post position: 7 of 11
Jockey: Victor Molina
I got a text from Mike Hushion at 6 am on Sunday to call him about Mr. Fantasy. "I knew we had an issue - what a sick feeling". Mike mentioned our colt had quite a bit of filling and pressure in one ankle and higher than normal pressure in the other.
All summer long Mike Hushion and the West Point Team talked about running in a softer spot so he could "feel good about himself once again". Like a maestro, Mike bought him along slowly and knew in his heart the horse would shine if given plenty of time. The horse told us he was ready. We got the final Saratoga condition book, and there was our target - a two other than allowance going six furlongs that would test our colt but allow him to dominate his opponents if he was anything near the horse he was in 2009.
Everyone who saw him that day in the paddock and on the racetrack knew this was a different horse. No more fretting. No more antics at the gate. Just a professional effort from a superbly talented horse.
It's tough to have a horse come up sore six days before a Grade One race he most likely would have been favored in. I've been attached to this horse since I laid eyes on him as a yearling on the sales grounds at Saratoga. Every trainer who's had him (Nick DeMeric as a yearling, Kiaran as a two and three year-old and now Mike Hushion) can't say enough about his courage and talent. It's sad but true - fast horses and brave horses are usually the ones with higher injury rates (the slow one don't run fast enough to injure themselves).
A good number of trainers would have just worked this colt, injected his ankles, ran him in the Vosburgh, and hoped for the best. However, when you love horses the way we do - you always put their interests above all else. Mike is a veteran horseman who knows his horses inside and out, just like any top notch trainer does. Instead of getting to the Vosburgh on the skin of our teeth, Mike did the right thing.
We'll get him down to Dr. Baker over the weekend. Mr. Fantasy most likely either has another chip in his ankle or cartilage damage. Baker is the man for the job since he can compare where we are now to Mr. Fantasy's ankles in May of 2009.
More to follow - just know he is in great hands and we'll do everything we can to get him back to the races (that is, if he has a decent shot to return at the same level). Plenty of horses have come back to successful racetrack careers after repeated ankle issues.
Please know this was a tough one for all of us. I just very glad that whatever happens with his physical condition - our colt is going to "be all right
Brave Monarch had some inflammation in his ankles this week. Mike’s vet took precautionary x-rays and found no structural damage. Many two-year-olds go through stages of minor aches and pains. Because of this, Mike is training this horse on a day to day schedule. Once our colt’s ankles settle down, his training intensity will be increased. This sets his race schedule back, but the good news is there is no structural damage
The Defense Rests continues walking the shedrow twice a day at Kirkwood. He is also turned out in a small paddock for a few hours each day to enjoy the sunshine. Kip Elser has him on schedule to resume jogging next week. After jogging for a few weeks, TDR will resume gallops. We are holding a conference call with Kip on Tuesday, October 5th at 2pm to discuss our horse’s progress. Details to follow.
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