Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird arrived back at his barn at Louisiana Downs late Monday night after a flight from New York to Louisville, Kentucky then a van ride down to Bossier City, Louisiana.
Trainer Tim Ice said Summer Bird came out of the Belmont Stakes in good order and has done nothing but walk around the barn on Tuesday and Wednesday morning for exercise. Ice said Summer Bird will go back to the track this week and begin preperation for the $1 million Haskell Invitational to be run at Monmouth Park in New Jersey on August 2.
Don't feel too bad for Mark Allen, the co-owner of Belmont third-place finisher Mine That Bird. Later that Saturday afternoon his Quarter Horses ran 1-2 in the $308,073 Ruidoso Derby. Time For A Cigar defeated Shaboomato in the 400-yard race and both race under the Golden Eagle silks for trainer Tony Sedillo.
Churchill Downs again takes center stage in racing this weekend with the grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap for older horses. The morning line favorite is Einstein, your horse for any course horse. In his last two grade 1 races, he has won the Santa Anita Handicap over the synthetic racing surface in Southern California in March and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on grass at Churchill Downs. The $600,000 Steven Foster is run on natural dirt.
A victory would push Einstien, a Brazilian-bred, into third place on the 2009 money list among thoroughbreds.
Churchill will also feature on Saturday four other graded stakes and the traditional presentation of engraved trophies to the winning connections from the Kentucky Oaks and Derby.
Dunkirk emerged from his game second-place finish in Saturday's Belmont Stakes with a non-displaced condylar fracture in his left hind cannon bone and will most likely miss the remainder of his 3-year-old season, his connections announced Tuesday. The condyle is the round or bulbous bottom of the cannon bone on a horse which is similar to a shin bone on a human. In most cases, a condular fracture can easily be repaired with surgery and the horse can resume training in a few months.
The surgery will be performed at the Ruffian Equine Medical Center located next to Belmont Park before Dunkirk will be returned to his barn at Belmont Park Thursday and then sent to Ashford Stud in Lexington, Kentucky to recover.
Trainer Todd Pletcher said owners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith,, and Susan Magnier do want to try and bring Dunkirk back to the races if possible.
"I don't anticipate this would prevent him from reaching his maximum potential," Pletcher said. "There have been a lot of horses that have returned from this sort of injury and done extremely well."