Surgery on Phillies Dream's ankle is an option

Mare's life not threatened by breakdown at Laurel

Horse Racing

February 28, 2005|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Phillies Dream, the 6-year-old mare who broke her front right ankle Saturday in the Maryland Racing Media Handicap at Laurel Park, has been transported to a New Jersey clinic, where she may undergo surgery.

Mark Shuman, her trainer, said yesterday that veterinarians are deciding whether surgery will be necessary. He said Phillies Dream is "not in any life-threatening situation."

Making her first start for Michael Gill, who claimed her for $32,000 on Jan. 31 at Philadelphia Park, Phillies Dream broke her ankle in the homestretch of the Laurel stakes.

She didn't fall, and her jockey, Eric Rodriguez, quickly pulled her up, jumped off and cradled her injured leg. Dr. David G. Zipf credited Rodriguez with helping save the mare.

Shuman said that immediately after the race Gill told him by phone: "Do what you can to save her as a broodmare." A daughter of El Prado, Phillies Dream started 30 times with 12 wins, seven seconds and three thirds.

Zipf noted that Phillies Dream's grandsire on her dam's side is Flip Sal, who suffered multiple fractures in his left front ankle in the 1974 Kentucky Derby and, after extensive surgery, survived. Although Flip Sal's injury was worse, Zipf said: "Here's history repeating itself."

NOTE: Root Boy, who nearly died in a horrific accident in the 1993 Maryland Million Classic, was euthanized Nov. 6 after breaking an ankle in a pasture at Murmur Farm in Darlington. He was 16 and breeding five or six mares a year. Root Boy's death was reported in the January issue of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine. Richie Blue, who bred and owned Root Boy, said: "He had a good life. He lived a lot longer than he was supposed to."

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