LAUREL -- Speakerphone underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., and will not run again for an undetermined amount of time.
The last-place finisher in this year's Preakness after setting a fast early pace, Speakerphone was scheduled to start next in the Dwyer Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.
Dr. Dean Richardson, who operated on Israel Cohen's horse, said: "Everything went fine, and he came out of it well. It was routine, nothing anything real serious. He has a good shot at coming back next spring."
The procedure removed small bone chips from the right knee and left-front ankle.
Speakerphone apparently was injured in a workout for the Dwyer last week at Laurel Race Course. "He really didn't show anything until he worked for that race," trainer Dean Gaudet said. "He came out of that work not 100 percent."
Gaudet said Speakerphone will remain at the center for a few days before he returns home.
Longtime mutuel clerk retires
Howard R. Smith, 84, a mutuel clerk for the past 42 years at Laurel and Pimlico, has retired.
"He mostly worked in the dining room, on the second floor of the clubhouse," said Bette Nordbruck, a longtime companion. "But in recent years, he has worked all over the track."
Smith, a lifelong Baltimore resident, also worked at Delaware Park for a time and "waited on a lot of famous people in his day," Nordbruck said.
"He never did anything extra special," Nordbruck said. "He was just a real gentleman with everybody, especially the senior citizens."
She described Smith as a "moderate bettor" who received a "send-off" from his fellow employees when he retired June 30.
Racing commission to meet
The Maryland Racing Commission will hold its monthly meeting today at Laurel.
Topping the agenda are approval of a commingling contract with Delaware Park, rules changes and a report on the status of the thoroughbred industry.
The commission is not expected to dwell on developments in off-track betting.
Fighting Notion out
Fighting Notion, who set a six-furlong track record (1 minute, 8 seconds) opening day at Laurel, has suffered a minor injury that will keep him out of the $300,000 De Francis Dash on July VTC 18.
"He cooled out fine, but the next day he was foot sore," trainer Nancy Heil said. "We deduced that he bruised his left front hoof, so we took him to Dr. Gary Spurlock in Lovettsville, Va.
"He examined him, and found a tiny lesion in his tendon. They said to give him six weeks [off]."
Gilded Set, a far superior horse on turf than on dirt, led from wire to wire and won the $25,000 allowance feature yesterday by 1 1/2 lengths over Ballet Rouge. The winner, with Greg Hutton up, paid $21.40 after completing the 1 1/8 -mile test on grass in 1:48. Gilded Set is 3-for-6 on turf, but only 2-for-22 on the main track. . . . Sunny Sunrise, second in the Budweiser Breeders' Cup on Sunday, may run in the De Francis Memorial Dash. "He has blazing speed," trainer Buddy Delp said. "With the proper rating, he's as good short as he is long." Delp said Sunny Sunrise is a possibility for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 31 at Gulfstream Park.