According to the Japan Racing Association, Summer Bird came out of his Sunday exercise with a metacarpus fracture in his right foreleg.
Subsequent reports specify that the colt was diagnosed with a bone chip in his right front fetlock. Plans call for Summer Bird to ship to Kentucky, where further decisions regarding his course of treatment and future racing career will be made.
Last edited by Glimmerglass; Feb. 9, 2010 at 12:43 PM.
Summer Bird, who was injured following a workout Sunday at Hanshin Racecourse near Osaka, was first believed to have sustained a small bone chip in his right front ankle. But Jayaraman said that the Japanese veterinarian who X-rayed the horse did not speak English and the true diagnosis was lost in translation. It was when the X-rays were reviewed by Jayaraman, who is a cardiologist, and Tim Ice, who trains Summer Bird, that the fracture was confirmed.
"It's almost like someone made a little scratch on the glass when you look on the X-ray," said Jayaraman.
He said the fracture is located in the lower portion of the cannon bone. X-rays have been sent to a Colorado veterinarian that Jayaraman has used with success in the past. Jayaraman thought a screw may need to be placed in the fracture line to enhance the healing process, and he felt the surgery could be done in either Los Angeles or Colorado. However, he added that such decisions are to be made when Summer Bird gets back to North America.
Jayaraman said Summer Bird is comfortable, and he is hopeful he will return to the races in 2010.
Summer Bird, the nation's leading 3-year-old in 2009, underwent successful surgery to mend a nondisplaced fracture of the cannon bone of his right foreleg on Friday and could return to trainer Tim Ice's winter base in Arkansas as soon as the middle of this week.
The surgery, to install a stabilizing screw, was conducted in a backstretch hospital at Hollywood Park. Summer Bird will remain in California for a few days while his condition is assessed, and could be flown to Oaklawn Park on Wednesday if he has recovered sufficiently, Ice said.
"The surgery went excellent," Ice said on Friday. "We have a good prognosis. We'll look at him Tuesday. If he looks good Tuesday night, he'll fly out on Wednesday morning."
Ice said that Summer Bird is expected to return to training by the spring.
Ice envisions having Summer Bird ready for a return to racing by the summertime, possibly for the Saratoga meeting.
Further positive updates from the DRF Jan 14 2010 - he's now at Oaklawn for the winter:
"As long as everything goes right and there are no setbacks, we'll start him training March 1," Ice said. "I don't think the time off is going to be a huge issue, because he ran all summer and fall."
"As far as a campaign this year, we're looking to go to Belmont this summer, so when he's ready, we'll start looking for a race," Ice said. "The main thing is not pushing him.
"I think the best is ahead of him as long as everything goes right once we get back. I really thought last year, before the injury, he'd improve as a 4-year-old. He'll be stronger. He was growing as we were racing him last year, and I thought that his 4-year-old season would be a very good season for him."
Ice said the ultimate goal for Summer Bird is a return trip to the Breeders' Cup Classic, which this year will be at Churchill Downs. The success that the horse had at Belmont and Saratoga last season makes handicap races in New York his probable route to get there, Ice said.
"I'm very happy with how the surgery went," Ice said.
Summer Bird is now walking the shed row. Earlier this month, his half-brother Indy Squall arrived at Ice's barn. Bred and owned by the Jayaramans, the 3-year-old is by the A.P. Indy stud Jump Start.
"He'll make his debut here at Oaklawn," Ice said. "He should be ready by March."
That piqued my interest so I did some research on Hong Kong Squall, dam of Summer Bird and Indy Squall. She sounds like quite the producer.
They keep 19 broodmares in Florida and Kentucky, including Hong Kong Squall, dam of Summer Bird. She has produced five winners from five starters, and has an unraced (as of Oct. 15) 2-year-old named Indy Squall, by Jump Start, a yearling colt by Johar, a weanling Friends Lake filly, and is back in foal to Birdstone ...
Interesting, her own racing career was ended by a bone chip.
They are going to start his training in March and run him in March, that is an impressive training feat. Or a bad editor.
From the way I read it, they are talking about his half brother, Indy Squall's DEBUT in March. Summer Bird already had a debut (FIRST time out) -- it was March 1, 2009 at Oaklawn also.
Another tidbit of info....speaking of half-brothers -- Summer Birds 1 yr. older (2005) brother by Proudest Romeo (Summer of Summers) is still running & owned by who else?...Michael Gill (trainer Adamo)... entered for Saturday at Philadelphia Park....
Trainer Tim Ice has been informed that he is being relieved of his duties as the trainer of champion Summer Bird as well as 24 other horses owned by K.K. and Vilasini Jayaraman. Ice, who is based at Oaklawn, said the loss of the horses will reduce his stable from 31 head to six.
"It puts me almost out of business," Ice said.
K.K. Jayaraman said Tuesday morning he will be moving the horses, but a final decision on a new trainer has not yet been made.
Summer Bird was in the process of being moved to Ritchey's barn at 10:45 a.m. Central on Tuesday.
"Im looking forward to training him," said Ritchey. "Obviously, he s a very, very good racehorse, and hopefully, I can do as good a job as Tim Ice did. I m thankful to Dr. J for the opportunity."
"I'm parting as friends with Tim," said K.K. Jayaraman.
Ice said he believes a slow start to the meet, where he is 2 for 15, and a colt suffering a condylar fracture during a morning workout Sunday at Oaklawn led to the Jayaraman's decision. K.K. Jayaraman said he feels there has been a breakdown in communication between he and Ice. Jayaraman, who has trained in the past himself, has had a number of trainers through the years.
One the Jayaraman's horses was injured (condylar fracture) working at Oaklawn on Sunday morning. Ice didn't bother to tell them until sometime Monday.
Maybe it's not a simple case of "Ice=good, Jayaraman=asshole".