Centennial Farms’ Chelokee will stand the 2009 breeding season at Tom Simon’s Vinery near Lexington. His fee is $7,500.
Chelokee suffered dislocated sesamoids in his right front ankle in this year’s Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day. Surgery to fuse the ankle was performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington. A 4-year-old son of Cherokee Run, Chelokee has been rehabilitating at Vinery’s lay-up facility since late August.
“He is a very attractive individual and a very talented racehorse,” said Vinery general manager Tom Ludt. “We are encouraged by his progress, and Dr. Bramlage agrees that he appears to have stabilized.”
Chelokee broke his maiden in his second start at 2 by 13 1/4 lengths. At 3, he won the Northern Dancer (gr. III) and Barbaro Stakes and placed in the Florida Derby (gr. I). He started this year with a score at Gulfstream Park.
“Chelokee had a lovely action and an easy way of going, but he was deceptively fast,” said trainer Michael Matz. “We were looking forward to him having a really big year as a 4-year-old. I was never concerned about him going a distance, in spite of his breeding.”
Bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms Bloodstock, Chelokee is out of the grade II stakes-placed Silver Ghost mare Dixie Ghost and is a half-brother to grade II winner Salute the Sarge and stakes winner Mymich.