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Dunkirk undergoes Surgery, Return to Races Expected

ELMONT, N.Y. – Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Dunkirk, a game second to Summer Bird in Saturday’s 141st running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, underwent surgery Tuesday morning to repair a condylar fracture in his left hind cannon bone and could return as soon as this fall.

“It’s kind of a bummer, but the important thing is he is going to be OK,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of Dunkirk, who had a screw inserted into the cannon bone by Dr. Patricia Hogan at the Ruffian Equine Medical Center across the street from Belmont Park. “We anticipate a full recovery and a return to racing later this fall.”

A $3.7 million purchase at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sales, Dunkirk could return to racing in the fall but Pletcher said it was more likely he would be back next year. The colt will recuperate at Ashford Stud in Lexington, Ky.

In the Belmont, Dunkirk set the early pace, dropped back, and then came on again to edge Mine That Bird for second, finishing 2 ¾ lengths behind Summer Bird. On Sunday morning, Pletcher was looking ahead to the Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 1 followed by the Grade 1, $1 million Shadwell Travers on Aug. 29, but x-rays taken Monday revealed the non-displaced fracture.

 

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