Dunkirk sidelined by injury
Dunkirk could return to training
later this year
Coolmore's DUNKIRK (Unbridled's Song) exited Saturday's runner-up finish in
the Belmont S. (G1) with a non-displaced condylar fracture in his left hind
cannon bone and will likely be sidelined the rest of the year. X-rays showed the
fracture on Monday, and the gray colt was scheduled to undergo surgery on
Tuesday at the recently opened Ruffian Equine Medical Center across the street
from Belmont Park.
Trainer Todd Pletcher is optimistic that the multiple Grade 1 runner-up will
make it back to the races.
"I don't anticipate this would prevent him from reaching his maximum
potential," Pletcher told Daily Racing Form. "There have been a lot of
horses that have returned from this sort of injury and done extremely well."
While the possibility remains of him making it back to the races this year,
Dunkirk will probably be pointed toward a four-year-old campaign in 2010.
Pletcher said he would likely remain at the clinic a couple of days before
returning to his barn. Within the next couple of weeks, he is expected to ship
to Lexington, Kentucky, where he will recuperate at his connections' Ashford
Purchased by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier for $3.7 million
at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Dunkirk didn't make his
three-year-old debut until January, winning a maiden special weight at
Gulfstream Park. He followed with an impressive 4 3/4-length allowance score on
February 19 and then made his stakes debut in the March 28 Florida Derby (G1),
rallying from off the pace to finish second to Quality Road (Elusive Quality).
Dunkirk was bet down to the 5-1 second choice in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but he
stumbled at the start and was checked repeatedly during the early stages,
eventually crossing the wire 11th.
The Kentucky-bred colt surprisingly set the pace in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont.
After being passed by Mine That Bird (Birdstone) at the top of the stretch, he
gamely re-rallied to overtake that rival but was no match for the late-running
Summer Bird (Birdstone), who drew clear late for a 2 3/4-length decision.
Out of 2000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Mother Goose (G1) heroine Secret Status
(A.P. Indy), Dunkirk has earned $393,200 from a 5-2-2-0 line.
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