Kentucky Derby: Archarcharch, Battle of Hastings Doing Well After Surgery

Archarcharch, the Thoroughbred colt that suffered a lateral condylar fracture (a fracture of the outer half of the condyle--the bottom or distal end of the cannon bone that fits into the fetlock joint) one occurring on the outer half of the bone) in his left foreleg during the May 7 Kentucky Derby, underwent successful surgery to repair the bone May 8 at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Unfortunately, the injury proved extensive enough to end Archarcharch's racing career, an announcement that came late Sunday on owners Robert and Val Yagos' Facebook page.


Archarcharch, seen here preparing for the Kentucky Derby, is recovering well after surgery.

"Archarcharch made it through surgery like a champ," Val Yagos posted. "His racing career is over. Too much damage, but he is good and that is what is important."

"He had some cartilage damage associated with it, which is why we're going to retire him rather than bring him back," said Larry Bramlage, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, of Rood & Riddle who performed the surgery on Archarcharch Sunday. "The surgery went fine, and he's walking around fine in his stall today. He's happy back there; he's looking forward to his next career."

Bramlage, who was also the American Association of Equine Practitioners on-call veterinarian at the Derby, used two screws to stabilize the fracture in the colt's leg.

Archarcharch, who broke from Post 1, was pulled up after the finish line in Saturday's Derby. He was vanned back to his stall, where a radiographic examination confirmed the fracture.

Bramlage said Saturday that the colt was not in any apparent distress immediately after the race.

In the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (a race on the Derby undercard), Battle of Hastings also suffered a medial condylar fracture (one occurring on the inside of the condyle) in his right foreleg. He was taken to Rood & Riddle for surgery, which was also performed by Bramlage.

"His surgery went great," Bramlage said. "It required a plate, but he's also sound and walking around his stall today."

Battle of Hastings' trainer, Gregory Fox, said it will remain undecided whether or not the colt will return to the races until his leg makes a full recovery, but that the horse looks very good after surgery.

"Following the surgery, it's truly a masterpiece," Fox said. "The fracture line, you can't even see it now. It's a great testament to everyone's professionalism from start to finish. He's a great patient. I just left him and he's walking around the stall as if nothing happened; it's incredible."

Finally, it was announced Monday that Uncle Mo, who was scratched from the Derby on May 6, was shipped from Churchill Downs to WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., on May 9 for continued treatment of his gastrointestinal infection.

The champion male 2-year-old of 2010 was scratched after veterinarians were unable to determine why he wasn't 100%.

"It makes sense to keep him in the Lexington area, where he will have access to the best veterinary facilities," trainer Todd Pletcher said in a May 9 statement. "Winstar Farm has a beautiful training facility which includes a hyperbaric chamber and a first-class staff. Our focus is to figure out what is going on internally with him and get him back to 100%.

"The number one goal is to get Uncle Mo healthy, and I feel very confident with (WinStar president) Elliott Walden and his team," owner Mike Repole said. "Todd trains many of WinStar's horses, and he and Elliott speak on a regular basis. Our second, distant goal when Uncle Mo gets back to the races is for him to be named 3-year-old champion and Horse of the Year."

Esther Marr and the Blood-Horse Staff contributed to this article.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More