By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun
8:40 PM EDT, June 16, 2011
Kentucky Derby winnerAnimal Kingdom has a small fracture in the cannon bone in his left back leg and will be out of action for at least several weeks while doctors monitor his condition.
The colt, who is conditioned by Maryland trainer Graham Motion and resides at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, was involved in a collision shortly after the start of the Belmont Stakes and finished a disappointing sixth. Motion thought the horse looked stiff in the days after the race and had him checked out at the New Bolton Research Center in Kennett Square, Pa., which detected the injury during a bone scan.
New Bolton's Dr. Dean Richardson showed the results to Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle veterinary clinc in Lexington, Ky., and he confirmed a small fissure on the tip of the cannon bone.
"It's not a major thing," Bramlage said. "I agree with Dr. Richardson that the best course of action is to keep the colt inactive for two weeks and radiograph the leg again. In two weeks it should settle down, and he should be sound again. I don't think it is going to separate, but that would be the worry. Right now it is a tiny crack and technically you could call it a fracture. But I would characterize it as more of a fissure because of how small it is. ... The good news is that this should not cost him the entire season. I would hope that he would be able to return to training in a matter of weeks."
Animal Kingdom was bumped at the start of the Belmont byMucho Macho Man, which made him clip hooves with Monzon. He narrowly avoided a disastrous fall. After the race, Barry Irwin, who runs the Team Valor International partnership that owns Animal Kingdom, accused Rajiv Maragh, who was the jockey aboardIsn't He Perfect, of intentionally crashing intoMucho Macho Man, who then crashed into Animal Kingdom.
Maragh was suspended Wednesday for seven days by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board for careless riding.
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