Front-leg bone crack sidelines Real Quiet

'98 Derby, Preakness victor could face end of career

August 20, 1999|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Real Quiet, the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, was sidelined in California yesterday for at least the remainder of the year with a cracked splint bone in his right front leg.

Real Quiet's injury was announced just five days after Victory Gallop -- the horse that denied him the 1998 Triple Crown with victory by a nose in the Belmont Stakes -- was retired because of a torn suspensory ligament, a serious lower-leg injury.

Mike Pegram, Real Quiet's owner, and Bob Baffert, his trainer, said the 4-year-old colt will be given 90 days to heal on his own.

After that, they said, they will decide whether he can return to racing or will be retired. He will not race again, they said, unless he can return to Grade I-level competition.

If he can race, training will require more time before he reappears on track.

Also winner of this year's Pimlico Special, Real Quiet breezed seven furlongs Sunday at Santa Anita Park in preparation for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 29 at Del Mar.

But he returned with swelling in his right foreleg. X-rays revealed the crack.

Nicknamed "The Fish" as a 2-year-old because of his thin frame, Real Quiet has won six of 20 races, was second five times and third six times. He has earned $3,271,802 for Pegram, who bought him as a yearling for $17,000.

With Real Quiet and Victory Gallop out of this year's picture, Behrens become the clear leader among older horses for annual honors. Behrens' schedule calls for two more races this year, the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Breeders' Cup Classic.

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