Matz's colt cracks leg in the slop

The Baltimore Sun

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Chelokee, a 4-year-old colt trained by Michael Matz, misstepped on a sloppy track in the Grade III Alysheba Stakes yesterday, threw his jockey Ramon Dominguez and suffered a right front condylar fracture.

"That's amazingly very similar to what Barbaro had, only in another leg," said Dr. Larry Bramlage, the on-call equine doctor at Churchill Downs.

Dominguez was unhurt in the accident that occurred after a rainstorm and has been cleared to ride Monba in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby.

Chelokee, meanwhile, was transported to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, where Bramlage said doctors are working on re-establishing blood supply to the colt's injured leg.

Bramlage said the colt's condition will be updated this morning.

Reached on his cell phone, Matz said, "I have no idea how this happened."

Besides having the same trainer and now an injury similar to Barbaro's, Chelokee, the winner of five of seven lifetime starts, has another connection to the late champion: The Cherokee Run colt also won the Barbaro Stakes, a race created to honor Barbaro's memory

Proud Spell prevails -- Proud Spell, the favorite for the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, shook off Bsharpsonata, the talented Florida-bred being trained by Laurel Park's Tim Salzman, in the final furlong yesterday and went on to win the $500,000 race on a sloppy track. Bsharpsonata broke from the outside and sprinted to the lead, avoiding the mud while setting the pace through the second turn of the 1 1/8 -mile stakes. Coming down the stretch, she hung on gamely before tiring and finishing fifth.

Showing concern -- While Proud Spell's trainer, Larry Jones, praised Churchill Downs for having "the safest wet track in the world," fellow trainer John Kimmel chose a conservative route before the Oaks, scratching his entry Elusive Lady. "The filly has never shown an affinity for running on an off track," he said.

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