The injury is not considered career-threatening, said trainer and co-owner Catherine Day Phillips, who had an MRI performed on Jambalaya on the recommendation of New York veterinarian Steve Selway.
“He had some heat in the ankle after The Million and definitely needed a couple weeks of rest, but it had settled down nicely,” said Phillips, who worked Jambalaya four furlongs at Woodbine Sept. 8. “It looked fine and he was actually training great. But last week the heat returned and I wasn’t happy with it. The X-ray was inconclusive and that’s when we sent him to Kentucky for an MRI.”
An MRI was performed at Equine Services Surgical Hospital in Simpsonville, where it was determined that the injury had resulted from trauma likely suffered in The Million.
“It looks (like) that’s where he injured it, from the picture we’ve put together,” Phillips continued. “But we caught it early and it doesn’t seem to be a chronic condition. We’ll give him three months in the stall and then have him reexamined after that.”
A son of Langfuhr -Muskrat Suzie, Jambalaya has won eight of 21 lifetime starts, including four in graded stakes competition. Bred in Ontario by Gustav Schickedanz, he has earned nearly $1.6 million for Phillips and her husband, Todd. The victory in The Million earned Jambalaya an automatic berth in the Oct. 27 Breeders’ Cup Turf. He was expected to prep for the event in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Sept. 30.
It would have been the second trip to the Breeders’ Cup for Phillips, the daughter of outstanding horseman Jim Day Phillips. In the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) she saddled A Bit O’ Gold, who was injured in that race and never started again.
“It’s sad. We would have liked to go back,” said Phillips. “The last time wasn’t much fun. We didn’t get to enjoy it. But I’m mostly just going to miss him. He is just outside of my office and I get to see his cute, smiling face every day. I’ll miss that.”
Jambalaya will return home to the Phillips’ Kingfield Farm to begin rest.