Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Contender Has Successful Surgery

Thoroughbred racehorse Centralinteligence underwent successful surgery after sustaining a hairline condylar fracture during the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Park, in Arcadia, Calif., and has an excellent chance to return to racing, trainer Ron Ellis said Nov. 7.

The condyle is the bulbous bottom or distal end of the cannon bone that fits into the fetlock joint.

The 5-year-old son of Smarty Jones returned to Ellis' barn Nov. 6 after Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, FRCVS, Dipl. ACVS, Dipl. ECVS, operated on him over the weekend, the trainer said. McIlwraith mended bone in the right front leg and inserted a couple stabilizing pins.

"He came out of surgery really well," Ellis said of Centralinteligence. "(McIlwraith) said the bone came back together very well. They do come back from this sort of injury. He gave him a 70% to 80% chance of returning to racing."

Centralinteligence, with Victor Espinoza aboard, was racing in seventh inside rivals in the Nov. 1 Dirt Mile when he faltered on the far turn and was eased through the stretch. He was able to walk himself into the horse ambulance and was taken from the track.

Ellis said Centralinteligence has been an excellent patient and is bearing weight on both front legs equally. The chestnut gelding is expected to remain in his stall at Hollywood until his stitches are removed. He will then be shipped to co-owner John Amerman's Peacefield Farm in Temecula, Calif., for four to six months of layup.

"We'll X ray him in two months to see how he's doing," Ellis said.

Centrailinteligence missed 10 months after having surgery to remove a bone chip in his left knee last year, returning to action in May. He has four lifetime wins from 14 starts with earnings of $309,171. Besides Amerman, he is owned by Bongo Racing and Gary Finder, et al., and was bred in Kentucky by Patricia L. Chapman out of the Seattle Slew mare Shootforthestars.

Originally published on

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Jack Shinar

Jack Shinar is a frequent contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine and is part of their Digital Media department.

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