On July 9, a human interventional cardiologist and an equine veterinarian in Lexington, Ky., successfully completed the first step of a landmark procedure to repair a heart problem in a 5-month-old Thoroughbred colt called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). At best, the problem could cost him his athletic career if not corrected. At worst, it could cost him his life.

The colt's defect

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